By Anne Collier
You’ve noticed how the Google home page logo gets dressed up for holidays and big news events, right? Well, Googlers themselves aren’t the only ones who can do that. Students can too – right now! Google has a contest for US K-12 students every year called Doodle 4 Google, and this year’s deadline for registering is coming up fast: March 2. All the info and necessary forms – entry, parental consent, etc. – are on this page. The doodle topic this year is “What I’d like to do someday,” and a couple of “potential examples” Google gives are “Become a doctor with my own TV show” or “Invent rocket shoes that let you fly.” Who can register kids? Parents, schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Girl Scout troops, but be sure to submit just one entry per artist. This is serious, artistic peeps: Google has partnered with the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York so that the contest’s 40 top doodlers (regional finalists) will have their work exhibited at the Whitney, and among the judges are children’s book authors (including Beverly Cleary and Jeff Kinney of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”), cartoonists, actors, “handlers” of famous characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Garfield), and other artistic people. Those 40 regional finalists will all win a trip to New York City for the unveiling on May 19. Among them will be the national winner, who will also win a $15,000 college scholarship and other prizes, and the three national finalists, who will each win a $5,000 educational grant. [If anyone’s wondering about news commentary concerning Google’s authentication process for contest submissions, see this in the Huffington Post from my ConnectSafely.org co-director Larry Magid. Disclosure: ConnectSafely is a non-profit organization that receives financial support from Google.]
On a separate but related topic, I want to remind young video producers to submit your videos to the “What’s Your Story?” contest, which I wrote about here, by April 5 (I’m one of the judges for this contest).