Athens Student Wins State Google Contest

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Athens High School sophomore Emma McLaughlin is one of 50 students who will travel to New York City as part of Google's "Doodle 4 Google" contest.

McLaughlin is one of more than 114,000 students grades K-12 to submit an original Google logo based on the theme: "If I could travel in time, I'd visit…"

As the state winner for Ohio, McLaughlin is in competition with nine other students in the grade 10-12 bracket to be one of five national finalists.

One winner from those five national finalists will be selected and will receive a $30,000 college scholarship.

The winning doodle will grace the Google homepage for one day.

The winner's high school will also receive a $50,000 technology grant.

McLaughlin's print was inspired by her travels and the Gutenberg printing press.

"When I was six, I went to Germany and I saw a printing press," McLaughlin said. "I decided to make a print of a print because I thought that would be a cool idea."

McLaughlin designed her "A Googleberg Print" logo as an assignment for teacher Ellen Gagliano's art class.

Gagliano said she chose to have her art students participate in the contest because of the opportunity for a scholarship.

"It sounded like a great project for my students," said Gagliano.

Had it not been for Gagliano, McLaughlin said she would not have submitted an entry.

"I thought about it as an assignment," McLaughlin said. "But I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't an assignment, probably."

Google representatives visited Athens High School Wednesday afternoon for an assembly to present McLaughlin with an englarged version of her logo design and to celebrate her state award.

Youtube employee Jill Pervere said the "Doodle 4 Google" contest provides art teachers with the opportunity to try something new.

"It's a great way for art teachers to do something totally outside the normal classroom curriculum," Pervere said. "It's a great way for them to be in a competition with people from all over the country and[it is] something that's worldwide."

Doodle artist Stephanie Boudreau added that the contest shows students the importance of art.

Boudreau works with a team of artists to design the artwork on the Google homepage each day.

"Sometimes art isn't seen as a career choice, and this shows that art is more than just what we would probably traditionally think of as an 'artist,' hanging in a museum, this is so much more," Boudreau said. "Google even has a team of artist who value making sure that creativity and technology are mixed together."

"A Googleberg Print" will be displayed at the Center of Science and Discovery (COSI) and in a special exhibit in the New York Public Library.

The winner of the "Doodle 4 Google" competition will be named on May 17 in New York.