Today’s beautiful Google Doodle comes from Akilah Johnson, the National winner of the Doodle4Google contest for students in grades K-12. The tenth grader’s doodle was selected from over 100,000 submissions to the annual competition.
For this year’s contest, students were directed to create doodles with the theme: What makes me…me. “There are a million and one facts, interests, and quirks that make everyone unique. For centuries, artists have created paintings, sculptures, self-portraits, and more to offer insights into their personalities and values,” Google describes on their page. “We asked kids to do the same by creating a doodle that shows the world what they’re passionate about, what gets them excited, or what they dream about.”
Entitled Google In My Afrocentric Life, Akilah explains the inspiration for her doodle: “My Afrocentric Google is drawn as a box braid, with my personal characteristics surrounding it. I based this picture off my lifestyle and what has made me into what I am today.”
For her winning doodle, Akilah will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 grant for her school, a computer, tablet and t-shirt with her doodle on it.
This year marks a couple of firsts for the Doodle4Google contest. In addition to Akilah being the first African-American winner since the contest’s inception in 2008, all of the talented finalists are girls. Here are their incredible submissions:
Happiness, You and Me
Ashley Han, Logan Elementary School, MI
National Finalist, Grades K-3
“I’m a fan of tea. I choose to symbolize myself with a teapot. The tea steam represents my happiness, love and care. It influences my family, friends and the entire community. The tea steam travels from place to place, eventually, my happiness, love and care will pass to the whole world.”
Karin Zimba, Albert S. Hall School, ME
National Finalist, Grades 4-5
“I’m a collector of things I’ve made, objects I’ve found, gift’s I’ve received, a token from a memorable day. I like to discover how each object relates to one another and arrange them harmoniously. Collecting reminds me of how we are connected to each other in our own unique way.”
Google Wood Bookcase
Jocelyn Valentin, Pocono Mountain East Junior High, PA
National Finalist, Grades 6-7
“For something that makes me, me is reading. I’ve created colorful bookcases out of wood, with books I have read in it. I loved books since I was a baby. Now I can’t stop reading. Fiction, non-fiction, mysteries, fantasies, anything. In the bookcases I put all the types of books I’ve read in the years. I would love everyone in the world to feel the happiness, the excitement, and the thrill of reading like I do when I read because I know not everyone in the world has the opportunity to feel what I feel when I read. Reading is what makes me, me.”
Holly Halberg, Battle Ground High School, WA
National Finalist, Grades 8-9
“I live in the Pacific Northwest (umbrella). I have a little sister that is a main part of my life (little girl). I also enjoy reading and photography.”
You can view all of the State and Territory winners here.