Working in public relations, where research of one kind of another is a critical component, I am online for one reason or another constantly throughout the day. Of course, this involves using the search engine, Google. Like many of you, I enjoy the special, unique Google logos that float across my screen on occasion. An innovative marketing tool, Google runs an annual contest, Doodle 4 Google, enlisting kids from kindergarten to 12th grade to submit their creative ideas for the next Google logo. Giving the Doodle 4 Google program its artistic credo, corporate sponsors for the program include The San Francisco Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. To enter the contest, students had to select a theme and describe it in a sentence or two. Each illustration entry—must be submitted on a 8.5″ X 11″ piece of paper and must incorporate the name G-O-O-G-L-E in creative fashion. To enter, kids had to answer the question: “What I would like to do someday.” This brought in a broad range of entries focused on themes ranged from finding a cure for cancer, to environmental concerns and seasonal themes, to taking a trip to the moon. From 107,000 entries, one lucky young student artist, Matteo Lopez, a 2nd grader, took home a $15,000 college scholarship and a $25,000 technology grant for his school. Matteo’s artwork appeared on the Google.com homepage on May 20th where millions got to see it. Three national finalists will each receive a $5,000 scholarship.
I must say that the regional finalists and state finalists were equally impressive. A-list judges for the contest included Whoopi Goldberg, Caroline Payson, Director of Education, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Maira Kalman, Author & Illustrator, Children’s Books, Jeff Kinney, Author, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” , Nicole Stott, NASA Astronaut and Michael Phelps, Gold Medalist & World Champion, Swimming.