A friend of mine teaches at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. They are building a database of applied math problems, at the 11th or 12th-grade level. Their goal is to give students a better idea of "why do we need to learn this?", which is the bane of all math teachers.
They're not asking for calculus problems. But I've taught calculus and I often had the sense, while teaching the "applied" problems, that they were just straight-up asking the students to do derivatives or integrals, with some words added purely as a red herring to confuse the students. I mean, really, if a ladder leaning against a wall falls down, is there any situation in which one cares how quickly the area underneath the ladder is changing? My memory of pre-calculus classes is hazy, because I haven't taught at that level, but I do remember having a pervasive sense that the applications were contrived.