If you visit Google’s homepage in the U.S. today, you’ll see a very interesting doodle. That’s the winner for 2014’s Doodle 4 Google competition (the 7th such event). This pleasant doodle comes from 11-year-old Audrey Zhang from New York.
Google asked kids K-12 to tell it what they would invent to help make the world a better place. Over 100,000 doodles were submitted. There were 250 state finalists, 50 state winners, and 5 national age group winners.
“To make the world a better place, I invented a transformative water purifier,” Zhang said. “It takes in dirty and polluted water from rivers, lakes, and even oceans, then massively transforms the water into clean, safe and sanitary water, when humans and animals drink this water, they will live a healthier life.”
“We quickly lost count of all the delightful elements of Audrey’s doodle,” Google said. “So in the spirit of this year’s theme, we asked Audrey to spend a day with the doodlers to turn her illustration into a moving animation. As an animator and director for a day, she made sure we twinkled each light and cleaned the water just right and took extra care for the illustration’s dragons—about whom she is also writing a novel.”
If you’ll notice, on actual search results pages, Google shows a different doodle:
That’s actually an image from the main doodle, as you can see from the zooms above.
You can see the animation in motion here:
“We thought she might consider it a pretty cool gig, but alas, Audrey eventually had to fly back to New York with the $30,000 college scholarship and $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for her school,” Google said. “We were also so inspired by her doodle invention that google.org donated $20,000 in her name to charity:water toward providing clean water to schools in Bangladesh.”
Here’s a look at the designs from the other four age group winners:
You can find a gallery of the 50 state winners’ designs here and an album of the 250 state finalists’ designs here.
Last year, contestants were asked to illustrate their “best day ever”. The award went to then-12-grader Sabrina Brady of Sparta, Wisconsin. Her doodle was called “Coming Home,” and featured a little girl happy to see her father coming home from war.
She also won a $30,000 scholarship along with a Chromebook and a $50,000 tech grant for her school.
Images via Google