Arpit Ranasaria says his love for STEM-related subjects were ignited when he followed in his older brother’s footsteps, joining a community club called Science Infinity. The 18-year-old Redmond, Washington recent high school graduate has since dedicated his time to increasing access to STEM-related opportunities and education.
As co-president of Science Infinity, now a high school student volunteer run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Arpit is committed to spreading knowledge to young students and expanding STEM-related opportunities to underprivileged students. Giving children early exposure to advanced sciences including earth science, biology, physics and chemistry, Arpit has impacted thousands of children since 2016 across the country and internationally.
What inspires you to volunteer?
Whether it’s volunteering and teaching through Science Infinity or serving my time elsewhere in the community, I really love seeing that the work I’m doing has a direct and positive impact on people around me. Volunteering is super fulfilling and makes me feel really happy with myself.
Describe your role with Science Infinity.
As co-president, I manage communications with teachers, parents and students about the classes we offer. We also set up curriculum for our classes and make sure they are running smoothly. In addition to our home chapter in Seattle, we currently have Science Infinity chapters in the Bay Area and Kansas City, Missouri.
How are you helping underserved children?
We have special funds set aside to help underprivileged students and we’ve helped to fund various educational programs closer to home and around the world including to India, Bangladesh, Colombia and Mexico. There are 20-30 high school student volunteers who teach middle school students science and other STEM related topics. Through our programs, we are getting low-income kids involved who didn’t have the resources, money or time to participate.
Share one personal story with me from your volunteerism.
We had a shy 6th grade student join Science Infinity, and while the student was pretty smart, they didn’t participate in class. As the student grew through middle school, I watched over three years as they started finding a passion for all four of the science subjects we were teaching. That student is now a volunteer teacher for Science Infinity and will be taking a leadership position in the organization next year.
Why do you think it’s important for others to give back?
As a human being on this planet, we have the power to do so many things. We have the power to destroy but we also have the ability to create, give back and make the world a better place. It’s important for every person to really be able to use that power and make lives around them better.
In one word, what does volunteering mean to you?
How have you continued your service through the Covid-19 pandemic?
We transferred our curriculum online, and the Bay Area chapter was launched entirely online, post-pandemic. We recently ran an online science competition for students to fundraise, we even have students outside of our chapter areas in the U.S. participating in our online classes.
When you’re not in school or volunteering, what do you do for fun?
I love to play boardgames. I am a huge board game fan. My favorites are Code Names and The Settlers of Catan.
How can readers help?
We’re always looking to expand our reach and help passionate students launch additional Science Infinity clubs around the county. Please visit our website for more information.
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Arpit Ranasaria? Find local volunteer opportunities.