Google kicked off its annual "Doodle 4 Google" competition back in January and votes from around the world have now narrowed the results down to five finalists. The contest effectively seeks to identify who can find the most creative way to write out "Google" in an artistic form. The aptly named Google Doodles, which prominently feature on the company's search engine home page, are intended to be inspirational and educational. Clicking on them often results in minigames or a web search which dives in-depth into the topic being portrayed. Doodle 4 Google is an open competition taken on by elementary and high school students from all 50 U.S. states and three territories every year. The theme tends to change yearly but Google was a bit more open this year and simply asked students to draw up whatever "inspires" them. That resulted in a total of more than 180,000 submissions before being whittled down by public voting.
Finalists this year, as is usually the case, cover every age group. The first finalist is Sarah Gomez-Lane, a first-grader from Falls Church, VA. The young artist has drawn up the Google logo entirely comprised of her favorite dinosaurs, while the "l" is a shovel which Gomez-Lane says is representative of the career she aspires to. For the "Grades 4-5" group, Sia Srivastava of Prosper, TX drew up a solar system-inspired roller coaster – undoubtedly inspired by the resurgence of space exploration. Google's logo is cleanly melded into the rolls and hills of the coaster track. Ignacio Burgos, a seventh grader from Portsmouth, RI, has entered with wardrobe and fashion-inspired art which shows the Google logo made up of hangers, fashion accessories, and a sewing machine. Meanwhile, the finalist entry for Grades 8 and 9 features the work of Madelyn Kieh from Yeadon, PA. Kieh's Doodle is a scene showing her and her sister hanging up art pieces prominently featuring the letters of Google's logo, highlighting both her sister and great art as inspirations. Last but not least, Mark Thivierge is responsible for the Doodle 4 Google entry from Grade 10. Hailing from Lutz, FL, Thivierge was inspired by nature, science, music, writing, and mathematics and incorporates all of those alongside a map of the U.S. Each state on the map is representative of the landscape commonly found there and Google's logo is embossed across the country.
As is usually the case, the winner of this contest is still very much up in the air and won't be chosen until June 18. All of the finalists will, of course, be receiving prizes for their efforts. Those include a brand-new Pixelbook Chromebook, a $5,000 college scholarship, and a trip to the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. As part of that trip, the finalists will be able to meet with the Google Doodle team as well.