SUMTER, S.C. — With every Google homepage refresh, the whimsical doodles catch our attention and ignite our curiosity. Have you ever wondered who creates these captivating artworks?
Behind the scenes, Google holds an annual Doodle for Google contest, inviting students from all corners of the country to showcase their artistic prowess.
Among them, Haniyah Simone Robinson, a talented Hillcrest Middle School in student from Shaw Air Force Base, has emerged as the South Carolina Doodle for Google winner.
In January, Google invited K-12 students from around the U.S. and its territories to answer the prompt, "I am grateful for..." through artwork. With this year's theme being all about promoting mental health by focusing on the positive impact of gratitude, Google intended the doodles to be a way students could "step back from their busy lives to refocus on what’s most important to them."
Robinson's artistic rendition titled "Second Wonders of the World" caught the judges' eyes and hearts, propelling her into the national finals.
“This illustration includes a jaguar, snake, shark, toucan, meerkat and snapping turtle, all shaped to form the Google logo," she said. "I drew animals because of all the biodiversity that often goes ignored by most people. However, I am extremely grateful for animals because of how unique they are.”
This year's entries were judged by “Stranger Things” star actor and student Noah Schnapp, bestselling author and illustrator Brian Selznick, 2022 National Teacher of the Year Kurt Russell, and Doodle team lead Jessica Yu. The Doodles are judged based on artistic merit, creativity, and theme communication.
The public can look at all of the states' winners and help choose who will go on to become one of the five national finalists, one of which will go on to become the National Winner at doodle4google.com
The national prize awaits the ultimate winner – the chance to see their doodle on the Google.com homepage for a day, along with a $30,000 scholarship. The winner’s school will receive a $50,000 technology grant.