It all starts with some art supplies, some 8.5 x 11 paper, and a theme. For seven-year-old Matteo Lopez of South San Francisco, it ended with red and blue rockets, green goggly-eyed aliens, and $40,000.00 in grant and scholarship prizes.
Google has been hosting its yearly Doodle 4 Google contest every year since 2008. The contest is open to K-12 students in the U.S., and this year more than 107,000 contestants entered doodles. The theme for the 2011 competition was “What I’d like to do someday.” A panel of Google team members and other guest judges evaluated the drawings.
The winner this year was Matteo Lopez, for his marker and colored pencil doodle, “Space Life.” Matteo's winning doodle was featured on Google’s homepage on May 20, 2011. The San Bruno Patch reports that Matteo's other prizes include a $15,000.00 college scholarship and a $25,000.00 technology grant for his school, Monte Verde Elementary School.
Matteo was inspired by his idol, Neil Armstrong, "because he was the first man on the moon." In an article published in the Silicon Valley Mercury News, Matteo says, “I want to wear a spacesuit, fly in space, walk on the moon and make friends with aliens (on) other planets.” And who doesn't?
Google believes that hosting a creative contest like Doodle 4 Google inspires the next generation of innovators and leaders. By using art to express his interest in space exploration, Matteo is setting a good example for everyone interested in the connection between the arts and science. His future should be as bright as the stars, and as interesting as the greenest, goggly-est alien he can draw.
Read and See More:
→ San Mateo Daily Journal story on Matteo Lopez