Mathematical modeling approaches can be categorized into four broad approaches: Empirical models, simulation models, deterministic models, and stochastic models. The first three models can very much be integrated in teaching high school mathematics. The last will need a little stretching.

Empirical modeling involves examining data related to the problem with a view of formulating or constructing a mathematical relationship between the variables in the problem using the available data.

Simulation modeling involve the use of a computer program or some technological tool to generate a scenario based on a set of rules. These rules arise from an interpretation of how a certain process is supposed to evolve or progress.

Deterministic modeling in general involve the use of equation or set of equations to model or predict the outcome of an event or the value of a quantity.

Stochastic modeling takes deterministic modeling one further step. In stochastic models, randomness and probabilities of events happening are taken into account when the equations are formulated. The reason behind this is the fact that events take place with some probability rather than with certainty. This kind of modeling is very popular in business and marketing.