If you could invent one thing to make the world a better place, what would it be?
That’s the question Google asked students in kindergarten through 12th grade across the United States for this year’s Doodle 4 Google contest. Students were asked to redesign the famous Google logo using that theme.
On Wednesday, May 21, Audrey Zhang was chosen as the winner out of more than 100,000 contestants. The fifth grader’s doodle, “Back to Mother Nature,” shows a life-changing water purifier. To help Audrey make a difference, Google is giving $20,000 in her name to a charity to bring clean water and latrines to 10 schools in Bangladesh.
Digging Into Doodles
Whether it's to honor a person or mark an event, Google often changes its logo. The special logos are known as Doodles. Google has a team of artists and engineers who work on the designs full-time. Since 1998, there have been more than 2,000 Doodles!
Last year’s Google Doodle contest theme was “My Best Day Ever.” Some kids created Doodles about a day they hope to experience in the future. For this year’s contest, the most frequent doodle theme was water purification—an issue that clearly captures young people’s minds.
Hard Work Pays Off
Audrey attends Island Trees Memorial Middle School in Levittown, New York. She has been drawing since age 2, and although very young, she already knows she wants to pursue art as a career. “If you don’t draw, then you can’t show anyone else what your ideas look like,” she said in a Google press statement.
Last year, Audrey was chosen as a national finalist for the contest. Her success continued this year when she was named the New York state winner. After the announcement of the 50 state winners at the end of April, millions of people across the U.S. voted for their favorites. On Wednesday, Google hosted all 50 state winners at its headquarters in Mountain View, California, for a day of art and technology workshops. Then they announced the finalists (one in each age group) and the national winner: Audrey!
In addition to the donation to charity, Audrey’s school will receive a $50,000 Google for Education grant towards a computer lab or technology program. Audrey will personally take home a $30,000 college scholarship. Now, she’ll work with Google’s team of professional doodlers to animate her complex design. Mark your calendars: Audrey’s animation will run on Google.com on June 9.