By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
Third grade student Allison Stewart could very well become a world famous archeologist, or if that doesn't suit her, an equally famous artist.
Both of Allison's loves were on display Wednesday morning during an assembly of Lamar Elementary School students who were on hand to see the young girl use both of her talents to win the state award in the Doodle 4 Google art contest.
"This is a remarkable achievement in art and ingenuity," said Sen. Roger Wicker, who was on hand to announce Allison as the state representative in the contest. "Speaking for the entire state, we are proud of this young lady and I'm gratified to see the creative talents of all our young people."
Leslie Carruth, who is the art teacher for Lamar Elementary School, said about 20 students at the school entered the contest. Although she didn't know how many from the state entered, she did say that on average each year about 130,000 students, K-12, enter the competition Google began in 2008.
"Allison has shown the artistic talents we have here at Lamar Elementary school," said Carruth. "We are very proud of her."
Doodle 4 Google is an annual program that invites K-12 students in the United States to use their artistic talents to think big and redesign the homepage logo for the search engine for millions to see. By winning on the state level, Allison will travel to New York City and meet with the winners of the other states for the announcement of the national winner. Google representatives, Jill Saper and Kate Packer flew in from Google headquarters in San Francisco, Calif., to help in the presentation.
Saper said this year’s national winner will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, along with a trip to New York City for the final awards ceremony, a Google Chromebook, a Wacom digital design tablet, and a T-shirt with the winning doodle printed on the front. The national winner’s school will receive a $50,000 grant to go toward a computer lab or technology programming. Saper said four national finalists will take home $5,000 educational grants to be given to the school of their choice, as well as a trip to the awards ceremony. They will also receive Wacom digital design tablets and T-shirts with their winning doodles printed on them.
"This year’s theme asked students to create a doodle based on their, 'Best Day Ever,'" Saper said. "Voters can see a full list of the state winners on the Doodle 4 Google website.
Allison explained her inspiration for the artwork.
"My dad took me to a science exhibit where I could dig through the dirt and collect dinosaur bones," she said. "I had so much fun that I decided to use the dinosaurs in the doodle."
Jenacee Storms, Allison's mother, said her daughter is a tomboy who doesn't mind getting dirty.
"She loves dinosaurs … and bugs," Jenacee Storms said. "We are very excited about this for her."
Allison said she especially wants to see Central Park and the Statue of Liberty when she takes the trip to New York City.
Saper said the winning doodle will be displayed on Google’s homepage throughout the day on May 23; and, the American Museum of National History will host an exhibition highlighting the 50 state doodle winners May 22 through July 14.