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ACTIVITY in Reduction, Redox Reaction, Oxidation, Half Reactions, Cathode, Anode. Last updated February 14, 2024.


In this activity, students will assess the battery power sources for electronic devices they use each day, and then relate the information to their study of oxidation-reduction reactions and electrochemistry.

Grade Level

High School

NGSS Alignment

This activity will help prepare your students to meet the performance expectations in the following standards:

  • HS-PS1-2: Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties
  • Scientific and Engineering Practices:
    • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

AP Chemistry Curriculum Framework

This activity supports the following units, topics, and learning objectives:

  • Unit 4: Chemical Reactions
    • Topic 4.9: Oxidation-Reduction (Redox) Reactions
      • TRA-2.C: Represent a balanced redox reaction equation using half-reactions
  • Unit 9: Applications of Thermodynamics
    • Topic 9.7: Galvanic (Voltaic) and Electrolytic Cells
      • ENE-6.A: Explain the relationship between the physical components of an electrochemical cell and the overall operational principles of the cell.


By the end of this activity, students should be able to

  • Recognize the connection of their everyday world with redox reactions and electrochemistry.
  • Understand the role of a variety of different batteries in daily life.
  • Identify the oxidation and reduction half-reactions for various batteries.
  • Determine advantages and disadvantages of different battery types.

Chemistry Topics

  • Electrochemistry
  • Batteries
  • Redox reactions
  • Anode
  • Cathode


Teacher Preparation: 5 minutes

Lesson: 1 hour (more is needed if you plan to have students present their findings).


  • Student handouts
  • Computers/tablets with internet access

Teacher Notes

  • This resource could be used as a post-AP Chemistry exam activity.
  • This is self-guided learning opportunity, and is designed to allow students to investigate the real-world application of the electrochemistry information they have already learned.
  • Students can be asked to complete part one or all of the activity as a homework assignment or as part of a sub plan.
  • After doing background research and completing the first table, students select one battery of their choice to research, completing the second table.
    • This could also be part of a homework assignment depending on time constraints.
    • Another option is to assign a particular battery to each student ensure there is a range of topics covered.
  • I have students share their findings orally, but completed work could be displayed as a poster/flyer and students “tour” to learn more about various types of batteries

For the Student


You will examine the role of electrochemistry in your daily life.

  1. Electrochemistry plays an important role in our lives powering many devices that we take for granted until they fail to perform. With the help of the internet, as needed, please identify where/how you have encountered the batteries during a regular day.
Type of Battery Where/how do you encounter it?
Lead storage
Silver oxide
Hydrogen fuel cell
Lithium ion
Zinc-manganese dioxide (alkaline)
Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH)
Nickel-cadmium (NiCad)
Lithium-manganese dioxide
  1. Choose one of the battery types or add a different one to the list, and determine the following information about it:
Battery type
Electrical potential






Anode 1/2 reaction
Cathode 1/2 reaction
Overall reaction