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The Madison Record

Sophia Ewing tops Alabama entrants in ‘Doodle for Google’

MADISON – Imagination and creative thinking led a fourth-grader at Heritage Elementary School to win Alabama’s state award in a Google contest.

The tech company opened the 14th annual “Doodle for Google” competition for U.S. students in grades K-12 to create their own version of the Google logo.

Sophia Ewing rated as the winning state entrant among 54 other first-place contestants in U.S. states and territories.

Among thousands of entries received this year for the logo, judges reviewed Sophia’s Doodle, which she named “Daydreaming in Color.” Stacye Lester, gifted teacher at Heritage elementary, encouraged Sophia and coordinated a victory celebration during a surprise assembly at Heritage.

When voting opens, anyone in the United States can vote for a favorite Doodle. The public vote will determine the five national finalists, one in each grade group. Google will announce these five national finalists in June.

Artwork by the overall winner will appear on Google’s homepage for hundreds of millions of people to see.

“Sophia’s win speaks to the importance of infusing creativity and the arts into the curriculum,” Heritage Principal Dr. Georgina Nelson said. “Sophia’s teacher, Mrs. Stacye Lester, encouraged her gifted classes to use their creativity to design their interpretation of Google’s yearly theme.” Lester helped in celebrating Sophie’s good news with a surprise assembly.

Lester’s students produced outstanding work. “Sophia’s work was a masterpiece that she created totally on her own,” Nelson said. Sophia’s parents are Terry and Emily Ewing.

The 2022 contest theme was “I care for myself by . . .” Sophia’s artwork spells ‘Google’ on a background split between the nighttime sky with the moon and daytime with bright sunshine.

Sophia painted two items in her artwork that help her self-care. “First, she has a softball, which Sophia enjoys playing, and helps keep her mind and body fit, all while having fun. She also enjoys painting and being creative; that’s why she included the paintbrush and paint,” Nelson said.

Google has postponed voting because of the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. “We can still release the information and push out new dates once announced,” Nelson said. “We’ll want to do a big push because winners will be (decided) via vote.”

The national winner will earn a $30,000 college scholarship. The winner’s school will receive a $50,000 tech package to open or improve a computer lab or technology program.

The judges have notoriety of their own: film actress and singer Selena Gomez; director and mental health activist Elyse Fox; and 2021 “National Teacher of the Year” Juliana Urtubey.

When voting resumes, visit doodles.google.com/d4g.

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