Google recently announced the winner of this year's Doodle 4 Google contest. Audrey Zhang won the contest this year with Google doodle of a water purification system. Her idea was to help us all live better lives by taking in polluted water and cleaning it. Zhang said, "To make the world a better place, I invented a transformative water purifier. It takes in dirty and polluted water from rivers, lakes, and even oceans, then massively transforms the water into clean, safe and sanitary water, when humans and animals drink this water, they will live a healthier life."
Zhang is an 11 year old girl from New York, and is one of 50 state winners that Google chose last month. Zhang won a $30,000 college scholarship for herself and a $50,000 technology grant for her school, both awarded by Google for Education. Google also donated an additional $20,000 to charity:water to help provide clean drinking water to schools in Bangladesh.
Doodle 4 Google is a project that started in India in 2009. Each year, the contest has students create a Google doodle that will be used on Google's homepage. The winner earns a college scholarship and other prizes like a Chromebook and a t-shirt with their doodle printed on it. Each year has a different theme. The theme for 2014 was "If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place", leading to Zhang's design for a water purification system. Past themes have included "My Best Day Ever..." and "What I Wish For The World".
50 winners were chosen this year, one for each state in the U.S. 250 finalists were chosen to compete for the final 50 spots. There were also winners from categories broken down by school grades, with one winner each coming from grades K-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, and 10-12. The 50 state winners got a trip to Google Headquarters in California, a t-shirt with their doodle on it, and an Android tablet. Four national finalists won a $5,000 college scholarship in addition to the tablet and t-shirt. Audrey Zhang was the one national winner that walked away with the $30,000 scholarship and the hope of making the world a little bit better.