Shared from the 5/30/2019 The Columbus Dispatch eEdition

4th-grader’s doodle impresses Google


Stephanie Sipe’s entry in the Doodle 4 Google contest



Stephanie Sipe walked up to the stage at her Hilliard elementary school this week, her mouth wide open in shock, when her name was called as a national finalist in the Doodle 4 Google contest — putting her in the running for a $30,000 college scholarship.

The 10-year-old fourth-grader at J.W. Reason Elementary said the Tuesday announcement about her entry — showing her rollerskating on the rings of a rainbow-colored Saturn with her best friend — took her by surprise.

"I thought it would get submitted for my school, but I didn't expect my drawing to get past doodles in the state," Stephanie said after a school assembly that included officials from Google.

Since 2008, the Doodle 4 Google contest has given K-12 students the chance to create a design to be featured on Google's homepage. This year's theme was, "When I grow up, I hope … "

Andrea Cohan, education brand and marketing manager of Google, who attended the event in Hilliard, estimated that thousands of doodles were submitted from across the country, and these were whittled down to

53. Now, online voting will determine finalists in each of five grade groups. (Stephanie is competing against third- and fourth-graders.) Google executives then will vote on a single national winner.

In addition to the national winner’s doodle being displayed on Google’s homepage for a day, the winner also receives a $30,000 scholarship. Also, the winner’s school will receive $50,000 for technology initiatives. Public voting runs Monday through June 7 online at

Stephanie said she wanted to draw something that no one else would think of doing. Her doodle statement said, “When I grow up, I hope I can jump into outer space so I can dance on the clouds. After that, I would take my best friend to Saturn and skate on the ring without falling!”

“I love rollerskating, and Saturn is my most favorite planet besides Earth,” Stephanie said.

The pupil’s parents were at J.W. Reason for the school assembly.

“I’m so proud of her,” Larry Sipe, 51, said through tearful eyes. “I already told my job I’m going to sound like I’m running a presidential campaign because I am going to tell so many people to vote for her drawing.”

Jacki Prati, school principal, said Stephanie’s achievement showed what students can do when they put their minds to it.

“Our goal is to expose our students to different experiences, and this one shows just because you’re a kid doesn’t mean you can’t do big things,” she said. @tanishajanae

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