Gizmo of the Week: Cat and Mouse

Linear systems are demonstrated with fast cats and slow mice in the Cat and Mouse Gizmo. Will the cat catch the mouse? Will the mouse escape into its hole? It all depends on the mouse’s head start (y intercept) and their speeds (slopes).

The Gizmo allows students to analyze the chase using a graph and a table. First, students will observe that the cat catches the mouse if the line representing the cat crosses the mouse’s line before the hole. Next, students can use tables to estimate the time of capture (or escape). Finally, an extension activity explores the algebraic solution to this problem.

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