All across the nation, the drinking water supplies of nearly all Americans are at risk of contamination - or already contaminated. Some of the contaminants, such as lead, have made people sick. Other contaminants, such as the Legionella bacteria, have killed people. The list of contaminants in our drinking water has also included chromium 6, diesel, benzene, and 4-methylcyclohexane methanol.
(b) Since they're unaware of their history, many Americans are susceptible to simplistic conservative rhetoric, for example, "government is the problem, not the solution." And once you buy into that nonsense, the idea of increased federal funding for infrastructure, or a new WPA, seems absurd (even though that's exactly what worked in the past).
Now certainly, if particular students show an aptitude for STEM, they should be offered courses to let that aptitude flourish; but Social Studies is the key to children & adolescents becoming well-informed, critical-thinking, civic-minded, and compassionate citizens. And that should be the foundation of our culture, from which everything else, for example, STEM, is built upon.