Google launches 5th annual children's Doodle contest

Krystal Peak · January 18, 2012 · Short URL:

Just as Google's logo gets censorship bar, the search engine asks kids to draw their own

With Google superimposing a black censorship bar over its signature homepage art or doodle today in solidarity with those against Congressional Acts SOPA and PIPA, it seems like an interesting day to launch the Doodle 4 Google contest for K-12 students.

This will be the fifth annual U.S. Doodle 4 Google contest where kids draw their interpretation of the Google logo for the chance to win a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for the winner's school.

The theme for this doodle will be "If I could travel in time, I'd visit . . . ". Students that wish to enter can interpret this as past, present or future.

Last year the contest drew in a record setting 107,000 entries and will award a winner for each of the 50 states with five finalists per state receiving recognition -- the scholarship winner will be chosen from the 50 state winners.

Google has become known for its inspiring and inventive doodles and often makes news for anniversary and birthday odes to monumental historical figures commemorated in Google doodle form.

The search engine company has put a lot into its doodle culture, which started in 1998 when Google founders attended the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert and placed a stick figure drawing behind the second “o” in the logo to let users know they were “out of the office”. This was the start of a whole doodle culture.

Since 1998, there have been more than 1000 doodles displayed on the homepage with well-known characters such as Big Bird and Batman. Some of the doodles even run on different country home pages or will go global. 

Some of the latest and greatest doodles included a depiction of Jules Verne, an interactive music making Les Paul guitar and the gaming capabilities of a game of PAC-MAN.

For this student contest, Google is partnering with Crayola and the winning doodler’s artwork will appear on a special edition of the 64-crayon box.

Contest judges, in addition to the Google doodle employees, will be Katy Perry, Phineas and Ferb creator and executive producer Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, and recording artist Jordin Sparks, as well as other great illustrators and artists. 

The doodles by the 50 State Winners will be displayed at The New York Public Library's historic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street in an exhibition open to the public over the summer. We’ll also be partnering with museums across the country to display the artwork of the state finalists in areas near their homes.

After the contest judges have chosen the 50 state winners the public will pick the ultimate doodle.

The National Winner for Doodle 4 Google in 2011 was Matteo Lopez, a second grader at Monte Verde Elementary School in South San Francisco, California.  

Entries must be into Google by March 23 and the winning doodle will go on the Google homepage on May 18.

Now if I can only get Google to accept drawings from 25 year olds.

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