Colin Coope is a sophomore at New Hyde Park Memorial High School.
At the beginning of the pandemic, knowing he would have some extra time on his hands, he used his own money to purchase a 3D printer. (Colin, an avid skateboarder and a parkour competitor, has earned money by teaching ninja warrior classes at a local gym since he was 14.)
A few weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic, he got the idea to start making “ear savers” to help people who are required to wear masks for long periods of time.
Ear savers work by relieving the pressure behind the ears caused by the elastic bands. He was able to download a file that allows him to make about 40 per day. Colin pays for the printer filament himself and does not charge for the ear savers.
To date, he has distributed hundreds of ear savers to local businesses and first responders, including North Shore University Hospital of Plainview, NYU Langone Health Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, Keystone Women’s Care in Pennsylvania, Costco Wholesale in Oceanside and Riverhead, Peak Bicycle Pro Shop in Queens, Glascott Funeral Home, Cassese Funeral Home, Rider Rescue in Colorado, the U.S. Postal Service and a security firm in Queens, not to mention dozens distributed to family, friends and neighbors for personal use.
He recently opened up his services to members of the Lakeville Estates Civic Association. And since the size of the ear savers is adjustable, he has offered to make them for local elementary school students if the children are required to wear masks upon returning to school.
Colin has a history of generosity. In elementary school, he raised the most donations in his school’s Jump Rope for Heart charity event, using money earned from shoveling snow and walking neighbors’ dogs to help contribute to the cause.
Colin participates in the engineering program at Sewanhaka High School and is a member of the Robotics Club. In addition to his schoolwork, during the pandemic, Colin has elected to take an on-line architecture class offered through Harvard University.
He intends to study mechanical engineering in college.
Submitted by Dara Coope, New Hyde Park