On google.com today, you may have noticed an intricately drawn version of our logo showing an unusual water purifier, surrounded by a variety of fantastical creatures. This doodle is the result of our seventh annual Doodle 4 Google competition, where we asked kids, grades K-12, to tell us what they’d invent to help make the world a better place. Today, out of more than 100,000 submissions, 250 state finalists, 50 state winners, and five national age group winners, we’re excited to present the 2014 U.S. Doodle 4 Google winner—11-year old Audrey Zhang of New York!
In the spirit of our theme around inventiveness, we asked Audrey to spend a day with the doodlers following our awards ceremony to help animate her illustration. In her new role as animator and film director, the ever detail-oriented Audrey made sure that each light would flicker and that the water was clean enough to (virtually) drink in. She was especially passionate about the illustration’s dragons—about whom (oh, by the way) she is also writing a novel.
In addition to seeing her finished work on our homepage today, Audrey received a $30,000 college scholarship and $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for her school. And to help make Audrey’s vision of water purification a reality, we donated $20,000 in her name to charity:water, a charity that brings clean water to developing nations, to provide clean water to schools in Bangladesh.
Audrey’s doodle was one of many amazing contributions to Doodle 4 Google this year. We encourage you to take a look at the outstanding national grade group winners, who we announced at an event with all 50 state winners at the Googleplex back in May.
Every year we do this, and every year we’re amazed. The thousands of young Doodlers who enter the contest are annual reminders of that special combination of curiosity and imagination that seems to come only from young people. Their ideas—like Audrey's—inspire us to do more and be better. Congratulations to all our Doodle 4 Google winners!