B.C. Boy Scout still a 'chill kid' as 'ear gear' gadget gains worldwide media attention - InfoNews

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B.C. Boy Scout still a 'chill kid' as 'ear gear' gadget gains worldwide media attention

Quinn Callander with his 3D printer.
Image Credit: Heather Roney
April 25, 2020 - 12:00 PM

For a 12-year-old who has been interviewed by Dr. Phil, done live radio in the U.K., been written about by the Globe and Mail and Washington Post, and appeared on Turkish and Japanese TV, Quinn Callander is rather modest.

It was only a few weeks ago the Maple Ridge Boy Scout received media attention after he produced "ear gears" using a 3D printer. The small gadget hooks to a face mask and helps to take the pressure off the back of the ears.

A nurse had posted on Facebook hoping someone could make such a device. Quinn's mother, Heather Roney, passed the challenge onto Quinn who searched the Internet for a design and produced a few prototypes with his 3D printer.

Roney, who was born and raised in Vernon, posted Quinn's design on Facebook to enter a Scouts Canada contest about what Scouts were doing while they're at home isolating.

"The prize was a camp stove and he was kind of excited about winning the stove," Roney said.

Quinn didn't actually win the camp stove, but the post was shared more than 463,000 times. And then came the media requests.

However, the soon-to-be teenager, who has a birthday in a few days, hasn't let any of the attention go to his head and has a much more pragmatic way of looking at it.

"People also need to know that they are able to volunteer for things and that they are able to change something in our community, with very little action," Quinn said. "I feel great that somebody, anybody... is able to rally the community to try their best and help."

While Quinn may appear along with Chris Hadfield, Margaret Atwood and Céline Dion at the upcoming Stronger Together COVID-19 benefit, April 26, (he's filmed a segment which might be used), he seems happy just knowing what he's achieved.

"I feel like something like this has to be widespread in order for people to take notice in the fact that they can do something," he said.

The success of Quinn's story has led to 80,000 downloads of the ear gears 3D printer design worldwide. Quinn has produced more than 1,000 ear gears himself and mailed them all over North America as well as having local healthcare workers come and collect them.

Quinn is quick to point out the design wasn't his and coincidentally came from another Maple Ridge resident who he plans to meet up with up when the pandemic is over.

While Quinn is very modest about his success, Roney is understandably a very proud mother.

"He has always had a big heart and wanted to help others so I wasn’t surprised that he wanted to help this time. We love that despite all the attention he gets he remains the same relaxed, chill kid," she said.

And a "chill kid" is certainly apt. With a 13th birthday just days away, Quinn doesn't seem to want for much.

"Sometime to chill out," he replies when asked what he wants for his birthday. "And some time to spend with my family."

So is there anything he doesn't like about the attention?

"Getting up early," he said.

The worldwide media attention has meant some early mornings.

The Boy Scout with the ear gears.
The Boy Scout with the ear gears.
Image Credit: Heather Roney

This story was originally published on April 24.


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