Doodle 4 Google competition open to students

Google has recently kicked off its 2014 Doodle 4 Google competition, which will give Washington state K-12 students a chance to win some major perks.

Students will have the opportunity to receive a $30,000 scholarship and $50,000 Google for Education grant for a tech lab in their school, along with other goodies. The winner will also have his or her doodle displayed on the Google homepage for 24 hours. And for the first time, the winner will travel to Google's headquarters in California to spend a day with the Doodle team to bring their doodle to life through animation.

This year's theme is "If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place…" This is a nod to many of the world's greatest inventions starting out as simple doodles, such as Leonardo da Vinci's drawings of flying machines long before airplanes were made.

Students can submit doodles until March 20 and Google will announce a winner from every state on April 29. After that, the public will vote for their favorite doodle from the 50 state winners.

Teachers can also bring Doodle 4 Google into their classroom in a number of ways, including utilizing three free lesson plans with videos from Google Doodlers. They can also integrate technology into their classroom by joining in a "Connected Classroom" — a Google Hangout on air — where a Google Doodler will take the class through the creative process for one of their personal favorite doodles, from idea to final creation.

Google is also  partnering with Discovery Education, which offers videos, activities and a virtual field trip to Google's headquarters to help the young artists' creative juices flowing.

Judging starts with Googlers and a panel of guest judges, including astronaut Ron Garan, author of the Percy Jackson series Rick Riordan, Google X "Captain of Moonshots" Astro Teller, directors of "The LEGO Movie" Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) President Rosanne Somerson, robotics designer Lee Magpili and authors Lemony Snicket and Mary Pope Osborne.

Teachers and parents can download entry forms on the Doodle 4 Google site. Doodles can be mailed in or uploaded digitally to the site.

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