First-grader one step away from millions of page views on Google

Published: Wednesday, May 2 2012 6:40 p.m. MDT

Marianne Liu wins the statewide portion of the Doodle 4 Google contest at an assembly at Peruvian Park Elementary School Wednesday, May 2, 2012, in Sandy, Utah. Her drawing will appear on Google for a day and be submitted to the nationwide contest where she may win a $30,000 scholarship and Peruvian Park Elementary School could win a $50,000 technology grant.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

SANDY — A 6-year-old elementary school student’s love for dinosaurs could help earn lots of money for herself and her school.

Marianne Liu learned Wednesday that she's a finalist in the Doodle 4 Google contest. Students were asked to think big and redesign Google’s homepage logo for millions to see.

From time to time, Google changes the logo to mark a special occasion or holiday. In this contest, Google asked students in all 50 states to submit their artwork for a chance to have it appear on the homepage. Google received 114,000 entries.

During an assembly at Sandy’s Peruvian Park Elementary School, it was announced that Liu is the Utah winner in the Doodle 4 Google contest.

Google representatives held similar events in all 50 states, as they narrowed down the entries.

“This is the fifth year that we’ve done this competition in the U.S.,” said P.J. Andersen, an account manager at Google. “It’s a great competition to inspire innovation and creativity among K-12 students.”

The theme of this year's contest is: "If I could go anywhere in time, where would I go?"

For the ultimate winner, the prize is big.

“If Marianne wins this whole competition, she’s going to get a $30,000 college scholarship to any college she wants to go,” Andersen said.

She’ll also get a $50,000 technology grant for her school.

Google is looking at the artistic merit and the student’s ability to apply it to the Google logo. “We want to be able to see those letters, G-O-O-G-L-E,” said Andersen.

Liu's entry features big and small prehistoric creatures, with their heads, legs and tails spelling out the word "Google."

The contest is broken up into five groups, based on grade level, but the talent and imagination certainly runs wild.

“We were just blown away by the creativity and the artistic abilities of our youth of today across this country,” Andersen said.

Marianne's parents, John and Joanne Lui, said every day after school, after dinner and anytime she had some free time Marianne constantly reworked and refined her logo to get it just right.

Her parents are very proud. They say Marianne has the kind of personality that if it’s something she really wants to do, she wants to be the best.

To have her design featured on the Google homepage, she now needs to get more online votes than the other 49 state winners.

Voting ends May 10, so not a lot of time. To vote go to www.google.com/doodle4google/vote.html.

The national winner will be announced at a ceremony in New York on May 17, and that student's artwork will then appear on the homepage on May 18 for 24 hours.

E-mail: kmccord@ksl.com, vvo-duc@ksl.com

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