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Hassina Bacha

Eye of the Tiger
Age: 
25
Country: 
Algeria
Project: 
Children’s Automated Eye Testing Spectacles

On any given day, you are likely to find Hassina hiding away in her university’s library.  Nothing gets her more excited than delving into vast topics like chemistry or pharmacology. It’s part of her daily routine, not least because she is a pharmacy student at the University of Constantine.

Constantine, Hassina’s hometown and one of her favorite places in Algeria, tends to be skipped by tourists. But skipping this city named after Rome’s most powerful emperor in history would be a mistake – it is a hidden gem. In many ways, so is one of its most talented inhabitants – Hassina Bacha.

The 25-year-old bookworm is happiest when she is applying her intellect to challenges. Hassina brings some big time smarts. But being top of her class isn’t enough to satisfy this intellectual thrill seeker. She’s always exploring her hidden talents to break out of her comfort zone.

Recently, she’s developed a fondness for rocking out with a guitar. “Playing an instrument balances out my passion for the hard sciences,” analyzes Hassina. “I think you need to have a grasp of both sides to become a great innovator.”

A pharmacist student by day, and an aspiring rock artist by night, she has set her eyes on a new title. In becoming a candidate on Stars of Science, Hassina is fulfilling a lifelong dream. “Being on the show has a profound impact on my development. What I have learned so far goes beyond science and innovation. There are now two phases of my life – before and after SOS.”

About the Project

As many as one out of every four children has vision problems, and many of these go undiagnosed. Especially among pre-school-age kids, if left untreated, this can eventually affect learning ability and lower self-esteem. Hassina knows how important vision treatment is, as she wore glasses from an early age herself.

Even though treatment is available, modern eye health equipment can be intimidating for children. To tackle this problem, Hassina is creating a compact and child-friendly device to test children for vision issues.

Hassina’s innovation is a spectacles-like device containing cameras capable of detecting eye problems, with a particular focus on Strabismus (commonly referred to as lazy eye) the device will sync to a mobile app, making it convenient for use on-the-go.

“My project will expand access to vision care to millions around the world who are visually impaired, but undiagnosed,” said Hassina. “Children deserve to be able to learn and play without vision problems. I look forward to convincing the Stars of Science jury that this project has the potential to positively change the world.”

Impact

Provides early detection of eyesight problems in children that could otherwise hinder their learning and growth