Chemistry 47

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Oxidation-Reduction Reactions

Oxidation is an increase in the oxidation state (a loss of electrons). In contrast, reduction is a decrease in oxidation state (or, a gain of electrons). Students examine how balancing oxidation-reduction reactions can be accomplished by more than one method. In particular, the trial and error method is commonly used as a first-try (this may be called the “inspection method” elsewhere). Another method is “half-reactions.” (NOTE: A half reaction is either the oxidation or reduction reaction component of a redox reaction. A half reaction is achieved/calculated by considering the change in oxidation states of individual substances involved in the reaction). Students briefly review concepts of electrochemistry in the context of both lead storage batteries and dry cell batteries. Students examine the relationship and dependency of these battery types on chemistry’s redox reactions.

Lesson 1 (or “Day 1”) Material
Lesson 2 (or “Day 2”) Material
Lesson 3 (or “Day 3”) Material
Lesson 4 (or “Day 4”) Material

6:20 Electrochemistry

8:43 Electrochemistry

13:04 Introduction to Oxidation Reduction (Redox) Reactions



Compare Contrast and Debate

Kickoff Debate Background: 

  • Advanced debate – students should frame an argument for or against the importance of this topic twenty years from today.

Instructor Emphasis:

  • Science & Engineering Practice: Plan and conduct investigations.
  • Cross-Cutting Concept: Stability and Change.