Today's Google Doodle may be the most moving logo Google has ever posted. The Doodle was created by a 12th grade Wisconsin student in honor of her best day: the day she was reunited with her father who returned home from Iraq after 18 months of military service. She is the winner of the sixth annual U.S. Doodle 4 Google competition.
"When I was 10 years old, my dad came home from war. This was my best day ever," according to Sabrina Brady of Sparta, Wisconsin.
"Her creative use of the Google letters to illustrate this heartfelt moment clearly resonated with voters across the country and all of us at Google," Ryan Germick, Doodle Team Lead, wrote in a blog post.
But the appearance of her Doodle, titled "Coming Home," on Google's home page all day today is just the beginning for Sabrina. She also won a $30,000 college scholarship (she plans to attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design this coming fall), a Chromebook computer, and a $50,000 technology grant for her school.
Google also handed out four $5,000 scholarships to four other National Finalists in the Doodle 4 Google competition. Here are their entries:
By Raegan Gonsalves, Grade 1, Chandler, Arizona: "My best day ever is to be around the pretty animals and plants in nature, because I love to know about what is around me. I love to watch hummingbirds drink nectar out of flowers. I love to read books on nature and how plants and animals grow."
By Audrey Zhang, Grade 4, Levittown, New York: "My best day ever will be when I discover paradise. In paradise, I could play with dragons, ramp with leopards, and chat with fairies...It would be the best day ever when I could finally live in a mystical, dreamy realm."
Maria Iannone, Grade 7, Sewell, New Jersey: "Where I live, it's difficult to view the night sky very well. Having an interest in astronomy, a day where I can observe the things I study on my own time would satisfy me."
Joseph Han, Grade 8, Falmouth, Maine: "For me, 'the best day ever' doesn't consist of ambitious dreams, but rather the enjoyment of a day spent in carefree euphoria. Being in the woods is something that evokes such happiness in me. The lighthearted joy of rafting, fishing or catching fireflies is what I've attempted to capture."
All 50 Doodle 4 Google state winners will also have their logos exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City through July 14.
Google said they received 130,000 submissions for this year's competition from grades K-12, up from 114,000 in 2012. This is the second year in a row a student from Wisconsin has been the big Doodle 4 Google winner.
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates extended through Sept 19. Register today!