How would you redesign Google’s famous logo? Children around the country took on that challenge to redesign the Google logo for a day, similar to Google’s many holiday and famous birthday themed logos. Doodle 4 Google, a competition for students all across the country in grades K-12, attracted thousands of submissions. The 40 regional finalists, including the winning entry, now have their work displayed at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum on Fifth Avenue.
The exhibit is housed in the museum’s lower level. Guests descend two flights of colorful stairs and are guided by blue, green, red and yellow arrows on the walls to the exhibit room.
The room itself resembles an immaculate children’s classroom with its multicolored walls all adorned with the replica prints of the 40 regional finalists’ artwork. In the center of the room are two touch screen computers where guests, young and old, can learn about the competition and the people behind it as well as create their own doodles and e-mail it to themselves.
Around the corner there are a few multicolored bean bags laid out on the floor in front of a flat screen television where guests can relax and watch a slideshow of the 400 State Finalist’s doodles.
The exhibit is vibrant and kid friendly but the messages behind the doodles are a far more serious matter. This year’s theme was called “If I Could Do Anything, I Would…” Many of the doodles, from children as young as six, asked for things like clean drinking water for everyone, a cure for kidney cancer and equal education for all students.
The 2010 National Winner is 9-year-old third grader Makenzie Melton from El Dorado Springs, Missouri. Melton created a doodle called “Rainforest Habitat.” “I chose this doodle because the rainforest is in danger and it is not fair to the plants and animals. I love everything except spiders and snakes, but I would still save them,” wrote Melton in her artist statement.
Melton’s winning doodle appeared on the Google homepage on May 27, 2010. She also received a $15,000 college scholarship, a netbook computer and a $25,000 technology grant for a new computer lab at her school.
It’s been a long journey for the students in the Doodle 4 Google competition. Over 33,000 entries were submitted to the competition and that was later narrowed down to 400 State Finalists; in each state there were two from each age group. The 400 State Finalists were once again narrowed down to 40 Regional Finalists by a panel of “Expert Jurors.” The 40 doodles were put to a public vote on the Google.com website and narrowed down to just four finalists from whom Melton was chosen as the winner.
The Doodle 4 Google exhibit will be on display at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum until August 15, 2010. For more information on the Doodle 4 Google competition, history or how you can get your child’s school involved visit www.google.com/doodle4google
El Dorado Springs R-2 Schools
El Dorado Springs, Missouri
Nellie Mae GlassElementary
Eagle Pass, Texas
Save Our Rainforest
Heritage Home School Academy
Long Valley, New Jersey
The Love of Art
Highlands, North Carolina