Doodle 4 Google-- the competition that pits K-12 students across the U.S. to come up with a doodle to replace the Google logo on the search engine homepage -- has announced 50 national finalists. And Google has opened voting to the public to help narrow the 50 down to five, one per age group.
The annual competition, now in its fifth year, has the theme "If I could travel in time, I'd visit ... " The voting site, which also has a list of the national winners, opened at 6 a.m. PDT.
Every year, Google taps guest judges who, along with Google employees, narrow submissions to 250 state finalists and then 50 state winners. This year, the search engine giant scored some famous folks dear to 9-year-olds everywhere, including Katy Perry and Jordin Sparks, as well as Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, creator of "Phineas and Ferb."
As The Times reported, Perry and her fellow guest judges are on the invite list -- along with all the 50 national winners in Doodle 4 Google -- for the May 17 party in New York to announce the national winner.
The champ will have his or her doodle displayed on the Google homepage on May 18, according to a statement from Google on Wednesday, as well as on a special-edition box of Crayola crayons. The doodler's parents will probably be more excited about the $30,000 college scholarship. Google also will donate a $50,000 "technology grant" to the child's school.