Doodle 4 Google

Doodle 4 Google

Every so often Google delights us by changing their homepage logo in a variety of creative ways.  Since 1998, these “doodles” have commemorated holidays, notable birthdays, and other events.  For example: New Years and even the 40th Anniversary of Sesame Street.

Since then, Google has started a new tradition by getting kids involved in designing these creative logo changes: Doodle4Google.

What is Doodle 4 Google?

Doodle 4 Google is a competition calling for kids K-12 to take a crack at redesigning the Google logo to match a specified theme (for example, the 2011 theme was “What I’d like to do someday…”).  The competition aims to inspire children to think about the future, get their creative juices flowing, and instill and support each child’s love of art (as well as a love of Google).

The prizes vary a bit every year, but this year the winner was given a $15,000 college scholarship, a laptop, and their Google logo was showcased on the Google homepage for a day.  The winner’s school also received a grant of $25,000 to renovate their computer labs and other educational technology.

Doodle 4 Google Example

Matteo Lopez, winner of the 2011 US Doodle 4 Google competition.

Doodle 4 Google: More than Drawing Pretty Pictures

Aside from giving out college scholarships and showing kids that it can pay to have an appreciation of art, the Doodle 4 Google competition teaches any child who participates important communication skills.

It is incredibly difficult to take an idea from your head and plant it in another person’s head.  There are whole college programs dedicated to that seemingly simple task.  By participating in Doodle 4 Google, kids have the chance to think about what they want out of the future and then communicate their complex hopes through their illustrations.  This can (and probably will) be frustrating, so it is a good classroom exercise.

Past Doodle 4 Google Themes

Doodle 4 Google, first launched in the UK in 2006, was offered to students in the U.S. in 2008.  Since then there have been a number of thought-provoking themes for students to incorporate into their Google doodle designs.

  • US 2011: “What I’d like to do someday…”
  • US 2010: “If I could do anything, I would…”
  • US 2009: “What I wish for the world…”
  • India: “My Dream for India…
  • Australia: “My future Australia
  • Ireland: “To me, happiness is…”
  • Sweden: “I love…”

Recently, Doodle 4 Google ran their first global competition, which was open to 17 countries.  The theme “I love football” led students across the globe to think about how the sport can bring people together in a city, a country, and even the world.

Art, Tech, & Ed.

Whether you just want to look at doodles from amazing young talent, or you know a kid who would love to participate, the Doodle 4 Google project is worth knowing about.  It is a great example of technology, art, and social awareness coming together to do great things in education.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about Doodle 4 Google below.  Do you know of other ways organizations are integrating art and technology to inspire kids?