Calling all doodlers! Google needs your help. The Internet giant kicked off its fourth annual Doodle 4 Google competition this week. The company wants kids in grades K-12 to use their artistic talent to create a new look for the familiar Google logo. The top doodle will be spotlighted on the search site's homepage on May 20.
This year's theme is "What I'd like to do someday. . ." To start, students should think about what they would do if anything were possible. Would they be President of the United States? Would they find a way to end world hunger? Would they invent a flying bicycle? They can then use the ideas as inspiration for their doodles.
Google believes that "dreaming about future possibilities leads to tomorrow's leaders and inventors." A panel of expert jurors will help judge the doodles. They include talk-show host Whoopi Goldberg, Garfield creator Jim Davis, Olympic figure-skating gold medalist Evan Lysacek and Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney. Several well-known cartoonists, animators and illustrators will also help choose the winning doodle.
The grand-prize winner will receive a $15,000 college scholarship, a laptop computer, a digital design tablet and a trip to the Google office in New York City. A $25,000 technology grant will be awarded to the winner's school. The top 40 regional doodles will also be shown in a special exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
This year, in addition to teachers, parents and after-school programs can register students for the competition too. Registration ends on March 2. Doodles are due on March 16. For official contest rules, visit google.com/doodle4google.
The first-ever Google doodle appeared on the company's homepage in 1998. It was created by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They were attending a festival in Nevada and wanted to tell the website's users where they were. The doodles have been a hit ever since.
Over the years, the Google team has designed more than 300 doodles for the Google homepage in the United States, and more than 700 for the international sites. The doodles mark everything from holidays and anniversaries to important world events. Google's original doodler is webmaster Dennis Hwang. He has been creating logo designs since his days as an intern in 2000. How does he do it? Watch the video to find out.