Thursday, February 11, 2010

Doodle for Google

This article originally appeared in SLJ's Extra Helping. Sign up now!
Lauren Barack -- School Library Journal, 2/8/2010
Google invites K–12 public and private students to pick up a pen, pencil, paintbrush, or mouse between now and March 31, 2010, to create an illustration that best expresses this year’s Doodle 4 Google theme: “If I Could Do Anything, I Would…”

The search giant’s annual competition drew more than 28,000 entries last year, when students let their imaginations fly, hoping their doodle might nab the grand prize and make it to the front page of Google. Last year that honor went to then-sixth-grader Christin Engelberth (winning doodle pictured) from Bernard Harris Middle School in San Antonio, TX.

This year Eric Carle, author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and a master doodler himself, will join the ranks of eight other expert jurors to help select a winner from the thousands of expected entries.

Google’s passion for doodling goes back to 1999 when founder Larry Page and Sergey Brin played with the corporate logo, putting a stick figure behind an ‘O’ to make it clear they were out of the office while at the annual art festival Burning Man. A year later, Webmaster Dennis Hwang was tapped to create a doodle for Bastille Day, an illustration so successful and popular that Hwang was made chief doodler, whose new plays on the logo are featured regularly.

While getting a doodle online in front of billions of faces is a pretty big reward in itself, Google is also offering a $15,000 college scholarship to the national winner, a laptop computer, a trip to New York, plus other prizes including a $25,000 technology grant for the winner’s school. Laptop computers and design tablets will go to the four national finalists, with the 40 regional finalists scoring a trip to New York for the May 26 announcement, with their doodles hanging in the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

But hurry! Registration must be completed by March 17, with entries due March 31. Those schools that submit at least six doodles before March 10 are entered for some extra credit—a side contest with prizes of 20 netbook computers for up to eight winners.

For students, this may be the one time each year teachers can encourage them to put down their homework and, well, start doodling.

No comments: