Quinn Callander shows off the earguards he has been creating for health services professionals across North America. (Submitted photo)

Maple Ridge boy featured in Forbes ‘8 Under 18’ list for COVID-19 contribution

With more than 33,000 ear guards made, Quinn Callander refocuses on distribution

Maple Ridge’s Quinn Callander, 13, has been featured in a Forbes: 8 under 18 list for being one of “the young trailblazers stepping up during the pandemic.”

Callander was first mentioned in The News April 6 for his effort to build thousands of ear guards using a 3D printer – devices that allow health-care workers to tie medical masks to the back of their head, relieving pressure on their ears during a 12-hour shift.

May 8, Forbes published an article listing eight young trailblazers in the world, giving nod to Callander.

However, Callander’s mother Heather Roney said they were interviewed for the article quite some time ago, and the information needs to be updated.

One of the latest developments, Roney said, is that Callander’s efforts have been refocused. Instead of focusing on printing as many devices as he can, Callander has redirected to logistics and distribution.

Recently, Ontario-based manufacturer MSB Industries reached out to Callander on Facebook and asked to contribute to the effort. Using an injection mould, the company produced, donated, and shipped 25,000 ear guards.

RELATED: Maple Ridge scout makes nifty tool to aid front-line workers

“Now we’re working with Scouts Canada and we have a dedicated ordering system so people can request them. They’re still of course free, but they can make a request right across Canada and we will send them out to them,” Roney said.

People interested in placing an order can do so by contacting quinncares@scouts.ca

The devices were created with health-care workers in mind, however, Roney said the reach is expanding.

“I’ve been focused on a lot of our Sikh community. I have some friends working that are helping me by making sure the people that wear a turban who can’t wear a mask have access to ear guards,” she said. “Of course, the Muslim community. If you wear a hijab you can’t wear a mask. We will get them to whoever needs them.”

MSB Industries isn’t the only company that has reached out to Roney to offer assistance. Roney said manufactures in the Philippines and the U.S. have started making injection moulds of the device, and have sent thousands to Callander as a gift for the inspiration.

Roney estimated that approximately 33,000 ear guards have been made with assistance of various companies.

“He’s incredibly humbled by the amount of attention that this project is getting and we continue to hear from people around the world who continue to print and donate,” she said.

RELATED: Maple Ridge boy finds internet fame after 3D printing ear guards for doctors and nurses

Callander started the project after finding a design for the ear guards off Thiniverse.com, a website where people can share and modify 3D printed plans.

Unbeknownst to him, the design that Callander used was created and uploaded by Maple Ridge resident Ken Lord.

As of Monday, the blueprint has been downloaded 112,256 times.

Last month, Lord estimated that the number of devices created could be in the millions, but it would be impossible to confirm.

“You have to figure that nearly all of the people would do at least one test print. There’s definitely people out there that are printing hundreds of them. Who knows what the total number could be, it could easily be a million of them. Who knows,” Lord said.

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