We describe a modeling activity for Calculus I students in which modeling with difference and differential equations is appropriate. This model enlightens students as to how derivatives are used in applications as well as a brief introductory encounter with parameter estimation for a linear, first-order, non-homogeneous, ordinary differential equation. This first encounter Calculus I activity focuses on connecting Calculus concepts with the real world using a guided/templated approach. A more open-ended approach such as ``knowing what to do when you do not know what to do." could perhaps be adopted in some later class or next course.
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