Tag Archives: doodles

Meet the Doodle for Google guest judges

The 12th annual Doodle for Google competition is underway, and we’re asking students across the country to unleash their creativity and show us their interpretation of this year’s theme, “I show kindness by…”.  Submissions are due by March 13.

This year we’re excited to announce our panel of stellar guest judges who will help us choose the contest finalists and winners. They have each made showing kindness a guiding principle in their lives. Teacher of the year Rodney Robinson, works to create a positive environment and to empower his students. In 2015 he started teaching at Virgie Binford Education Center, a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, in an effort to better understand and prevent students from entering the school-to-prison pipeline.

Joining Rodney as a judge is acclaimed author and illustrator Mari Andrew. Mari values optimism, resilience and vulnerability in her work and has inspired over 1 million devoted fans through her art and writing, where she beautifully covers these subjects. In her New York Times Bestseller book, “Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood,” she uses poignant essays and illustrations to help her readers feel less alone as they experience the trials and tribulations of life. 

Last but certainly not least, the multifaceted entertainer and late-night host Lilly Singh will also join our guest judge panel. Lilly has amassed a global audience of millions through her social channels and work in entertainment—she uses her platform to uplift others. In 2017, UNICEF appointed Lilly as one of their Goodwill Ambassadors. She also created her #GirlLove initiative to inspire positivity among women and support each other's voices encouraging upward mobility.  

Kindness means something different to everyone, whether it’s starting a community garden, standing up for a friend or doing chores around the home—so it’s up to you how to interpret this year’s theme. 

 With Rodney, Mari and Lilly’s help, we’ll select five National Finalists who will win a $5,000 college scholarship and a trip to our Mountainview headquarters. One National Winner will receive: a  $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 technology package for their school or non-profit and their artwork featured on the Google homepage for a day. 

We can’t wait to see how you show kindness. Let’s get Doodling! 


Little Doodle, big impact: Honoring the Greensboro sit-in

As a little girl, my biggest wish was for a dollhouse. But as the daughter of a single mom, we just couldn’t afford things like that. Forty-something years later, that wish came true. I bought my first dollhouse. What I didn’t know at the time was that a childhood dream would soon become my passion for telling stories through dioramas.


My love for miniatures gained a new meaning upon the devastating incarceration of my son. It was in the midst of that pain and anguish that I came up with the African American Miniature Museum. This mobile exhibit tells stories of Black history through a collection of dioramas placed in shadow boxes, created by myself and my husband Eddie Lewis. For me, the museum was a way to turn the negativity into something positive and share the stories of our ancestors’ strength and perseverance through hardship. I want young people to learn about those that came before them who sacrificed to help make the lives they live today possible. Most importantly, I want them to see that we each have the power to make it through difficult times to thrive and hopefully make things better for those who come after us. 


One such difficult yet inspiring time was the United States Civil Rights Movement. In fact, today marks the 60th anniversary of one of the events that helped spark it—the Greensboro sit-in. Organized by four Black college freshmen, the protest against segregation served as a catalyst for similar demonstrations throughout the nation. Today’s Doodle diorama not only pays homage to the sit-in, but also to everything that came as a result: changes in our country to make it more possible for ALL Americans—no matter their race, color, or creed—to live to their full potential.
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Karen Collins with her Doodle diorama. Photo credit: Rebecca Veit

I hope that when people see this Doodle, at the start of Black History Month, they are inspired to learn more about the sit-in, the movement, and all the stories of Black resilience that helped shape the world we live in today. For folks in the Black community, I hope they feel gratitude and pride and that they remember that we have the strength to build a better future for ourselves and generations to come.

Doodle for Google 2020: How do you show kindness?

I’ve had a lifelong love of art and creativity. As the Doodle team lead, it’s an incredible privilege to use that passion professionally to create surprising, magical moments that inspire and connect us all. 

Today our 12th annual Doodle for Google contest kicks off, and I can’t wait to see the extraordinary artwork students across the nation dream up for the chance to be featured on the Google homepage, and to inspire millions of people with their creativity.

We’re excited to announce that this year’s theme is “I show kindness by…” Acts of kindness bring more joy, light and warmth to the world. They cost nothing, but mean everything. . 

As submissions open, we’re inviting young artists in grades K-12 to open up their creative hearts and show us how they find ways to be kind. Starting a community garden? Standing up for a friend being bullied? Doing chores around the home? How you interpret the theme is up to you! 

This year’s national winner will have their artwork featured on the Google homepage for a day and receive a $30,000 college scholarship. The winner’s school will also receive a $50,000 technology package.

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Rodney Robinson

We’re assembling an amazing panel of judges to help us choose the winner. This year, we’re lucky enough to have the help of an incredibly kindhearted educator, Rodney Robinson, 2019’s National Teacher of the Year. Who will the others be? An inspiring scientist? A famous musician? Stay tuned to find out!

In the meantime, check out the artwork of our 2019 national winner, Arantza Peña Popo, for inspiration. If you’re ready to join the ranks of previous winners, the contest is open for submissions for 10 weeks; submissions close on March 13th, 2020.

Ready to enter? Let kindness inspire you and start doodling your heart out! 

For more details on contest rules, theme inspiration and the entry form, head to doodle4google.com.   

¡Buenas! A multiplayer Doodle celebrating Lotería

A smile instantly comes to my face when I think of Lotería. I think of being with my extended family in Mexico for the holidays, scattering around my Tia Cruz’s house, anxiously waiting for a round to start. I think of us trying to distract each other from our boards by tossing beans. Mostly, I think of the laughter and the excitement; I think about how all the worries of the world melted away, even if just for a few hours. 

So when our team was trying to come up with new concepts for interactive Doodles this year, I immediately thought of Lotería. The game itself is so simple and magical, and I wanted to see how it could come to life in the digital space and tap into that sense of connection. And so the Lotería Doodle was born.

Originating in Italy in the 15th century, Lotería first moved to Spain before reaching Mexico in 1769. The rules are similar to Bingo: Players mark spots on a tabla, or board, with a token (traditionally a raw bean) and attempt to fill it before all other players. A designated card announcer randomly pulls colorfully illustrated cards like La Luna or El Arbol. A shout of “¡lotería!” or “¡buenas!” declares victory for one lucky player, ending the round. 

Today’s interactive Doodle celebrates this iconic game on the anniversary of the day it was first copyrighted in Mexico. It’s also our second-ever multiplayer experience in a Doodle: Play the game with friends in a private match, or match with others around the globe at random.

We collaborated with five Mexican and Mexican-American illustrators to reimagine most of the iconic Lotería game art for the Doodle—and even added new cards for a fun sorpresa. Popular Mexican YouTuber Luisito Comunica also serves as the game card announcer for the Doodle.

Today, Lotería’s iconic imagery and the experience it fosters across generations remains a source of pride and celebration for Mexican culture. Whether you play today with your familia or with a new [email protected] from the other side of the world, we hope today’s Doodle inspires fun, curiosity and a healthy dose of competencia.

 ¡Feliz Aniversario, Lotería!

How a psychiatry pioneer helped me understand my mother

Editor’s note: To help families dealing with addiction, Google has given over $1 million worth of contributions to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (PDFK) this year and worked with PDFK to show up for people who are seeking support. When someone searches for relevant queries such as "teen drug addiction" on Google or YouTube, they get the number to call an experienced parent coach who works with caregivers to develop individualized plans for helping loved ones with substance use. You can also find local and national helplines on our Recover Together site.

I can still vividly remember confronting my mother when I was in my late teens. After a lifetime of dealing with her unreliability, I had just had it. In a blowup conversation, I told her that she had chosen drugs over me. 

At the time, I looked at her years of being incarcerated or held up in halfway homes as abandonment. But I now know that there was no other place she would have rather been than to be home with me—clean and sober. While my mother ultimately died of an opioid overdose, truthfully the drug had been slowly taking her over the years. I’ve come to understand that she only chose drugs once. She started using at 13 years old, and that was the one and only time it was her decision. After that, the drugs had her and never let go.

Today’s global Google Doodle honors the late Dr. Herbert D. Kleber, who followed a calling in his life to study patients with addictions, like my mother. It was a direction he didn’t plan for in his professional career as a psychiatrist. However, his pioneering work on understanding and treating addiction brought the scientific community to the understanding that drug addictions are physiological shortcomings, and not moral ones. I’m grateful for Dr. Kleber’s work, because it has certainly helped me better understand my mother’s plight. 

Hey, Kiddo excerpt

An excerpt from Jarrett’s memoir, “Hey, Kiddo.”

Like Dr. Kleber, I also followed a calling. I didn’t expect to write a memoir about my relationship with my mother and her drug use. But after meeting so many young readers who also walked a similar path in life to the one I had, I truly felt the need to tell my story. It’s why I was also moved to work on this Google Doodle honoring Dr. Kleber. I hope that both offer people, especially young readers, the opportunity to see their experiences reflected in media that is visible to all.

I hear from my readers often as they recount their own complicated relationships with a parent suffering from opioid addiction disorder. When they ask what it was like to write and draw a book that recounts so many traumatic moments, I let them know that it helped me come to an important conclusion: My mother wasn’t the antagonist in the story of my life. The drugs were.

Meet this year’s Doodle for Google contest winner

I’m still not sure if I know what I want to be when I grow up. But by looking at all of the Doodle for Google submissions we have received this year, I’ve learned that kids have a lot more figured out than I do. Around 222,000 students entered this year’s contest and responded to the theme “When I grow up, I hope…”  

Yesterday, one of our guest judges this year, Jimmy Fallon, announced this year’s National Winner, Arantza Peña Popo. She stopped by "The Tonight Show" to chat about her winning Doodle, called “Once you get it, you give back,” which she drew in honor of her mom. “When I grow up, I hope to care for my mom as much as she cared for me my entire life,” she said. “My mom has done so much for me and sacrificed a lot.”

Doodle for Google 2019

Today, millions of people will be able to see Arantza’s Doodle on the biggest “refrigerator door” around: the Google homepage. Additionally, Arantza will receive $30,000 toward a college scholarship and her school, Arabia Mountain High School (where she was recently named valedictorian), will receive a $50,000 technology package. Thank you to Arantza and all of the students who entered this year for sharing your hopes with us. And maybe one day, we grownups will figure out what we want to do when we grow up. 

“We did it”: Today’s Doodle for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing

Fifty years ago on July 20, 1969, astronauts from NASA’s Apollo 11 mission stepped foot on the moon. Today, you can relive the Apollo 11 journey from blast-off to re-entry in an epic video Doodle narrated by former astronaut and Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins. 


Collins was one of three astronauts on the mission, along with Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. While Armstrong and Aldrin “frolicked” on the moon’s surface (Collins’ words, not ours!), he was the one who stayed behind in the command module, which would eventually bring all three astronauts back home to Earth. In the Doodle, you can hear him describe their “adventure,” beginning when a Saturn V rocket blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on July 16. Four days later, the lunar module, known as “the Eagle,” made its 13-minute journey to the “Sea of Tranquility” on the moon’s surface. And the rest, as they say, was history.


To create today’s Doodle, the team worked closely with NASA to understand the ins and outs of the mission and ensure the most accurate representation possible. In the Doodle, you can learn about the 400,000 people who worked on the Apollo project, the onboard computer, and the "barbecue roll" which was used to regulate the spacecraft’s temperature. Learn more about the process of creating the doodle in our behind-the-scenes video:

Behind the Doodle: 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

Apollo 11 archival audio clips courtesy of NASA

You can also see early storyboard sketches and concept art from Doodler Pedro Vergani:

The moon landing radically reshaped the way people thought about our world and what is possible. To this day, it is an inspiration for doers and dreamers around the globe—the very Earth that Collins describes in the Doodle as “the main show.” We hope today’s Doodle is a fitting tribute to this monumental human achievement. To quote Collins:


“We, you and me, the inhabitants of this wonderful Earth. We did it!"

Ready for takeoff: Meet the Doodle for Google national finalists

This January, we kicked off the 11th year of Doodle for Google, our annual art contest for students across the country. We challenged kids across the U.S. to create a visual interpretation of this year’s theme: “When I grow up, I hope…” And it’s clear this year’s students have a lot of hopes, whether it’s becoming a cartoonist, growing your own food or simply never growing up.

In the beginning of June, we asked you to help us judge this year’s state and territory winners’ Doodles, and after a million public votes, we’re ready to introduce our five national finalists, one from each grade group. Meet these talented students and learn about their hopes, how they come up with their Doodle and what age they think they will be when they are “grown up.”

Natalia Pepe, Grade Group K-3

Hometown: Cheshire, Connecticut

Doodle Title: Farmers

Doodle for Google, Connecticut

How did you come up with the idea for your Doodle? I was inspired by my town of Cheshire, Connecticut, where there are a lot of farms and orchards, and where a lot of people have gardens to grow their own food. I thought that if there were more of this in the world, people would be healthier and it would be better for the planet. Plus, it's just really cool to see things grow!

What else do you like to draw and doodle for fun?I like drawing little monsters and all kinds of dogs. I especially like drawing comics and illustrating fun stories.

What age do you think you'll be when you're officially a "grownup?" I think that I will officially be a grownup when I am 20 years old, because this is the age when I will be out of my teens. That's not for a long time!

Amadys Lopez Velasquez, Grade Group 4-5

Hometown: Dorado, Puerto Rico

Doodle Title: When I Grow Up, I Hope…  ¡Que Todos Seamos Niños Otra Vez!

Doodle for Google, Puerto Rico

How did you come up with the idea for your Doodle?My family always tells me to enjoy my childhood. That adults would like to be children again. It's funny and weird but it seems like the key to happiness.

What else do you like to draw and doodle for fun? I like to have fun drawing animals and my pets, and then transform them by drawing as if they were human.

What's your favorite thing to learn about in school, and why? My favorite thing to learn is history because I like to know interesting facts about my country and other parts of the world. It is like traveling in time and being able to know the past and understand the things of the present.

Christelle Matildo, Grade Group 6-7

Hometown: Lancaster, Texas

Doodle Title: A Hopeful Future

Doodle for Google, Texas

How did you come up with the idea for your Doodle?I came up with the idea of my Doodle from current issues and topics that stand out the most to me. 

What else do you like to draw and doodle for fun? I like to draw mostly dragons for fun. Sometimes I draw made-up creatures because I think they look cool in my imagination. 

What age do you think you'll be when you're officially a "grownup?" I think I'll officially be a "grownup" at the age of 18. I can act like or be a grownup, but my "official title" isn't there yet.  

Jeremy Henskens, Grade Group 8-9

Hometown: Burlington, New Jersey

Doodle Title: Cartooning Doodle

Doodle for Google, New Jersey

How did you come up with the idea for your Doodle?I want to be a cartoonist when I grow up, so I made my Doodle resemble a comic strip from a comic book. 

What else do you like to draw and doodle for fun?Random people with big heads and odd objects.

What's your favorite thing to learn about in school, and why?Social studies, because people did some strange things in the past, and it is cool to learn about them.

What age do you think you'll be when you're officially a "grownup?" 108.

Arantza Peña Popo, Grades 10-12

Hometown: Lithonia, Georgia

Doodle Title: Once you get it, give it back

Doodle for Google, Georgia

How did you come up with the idea for your Doodle? I came up with the idea at the last minute, actually the day of the deadline. I looked at the photograph of my mother (the real version that inspired the drawing) and thought, "Hey, why don't I reverse it?" I wanted to focus more on a message of helping out my awesome mother, more than anything else.

What's your favorite thing to learn about in school, and why?I like to learn about literature that focuses on more diverse perspectives of our society.

What age do you think you'll be when you're officially a "grownup?" I think at 30 years old I'll feel like a grownup. I'm 18 now and I still feel like a kid.

Why you should thank a teacher this week, and always

Editor’s note: Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! We’re honored to have the 2019 National Teacher of the Year, Rodney Robinson, as today’s guest author (and Doodler), who shares more about his journey and all the ways we’re celebrating teachers this week and beyond.

I went into teaching to honor my first teacher: my mother, Sylvia Robinson. Growing up in rural Virginia, she dreamed of becoming  an educator but was denied the chance due to poverty and segregation; instead, she ran an in-home daycare center for all the neighborhood children, where she made each of us feel like we were the most important person on earth.

My mother always said, “every child deserves the proper amount of love to get what they need to be successful in life.” My sister, who had cerebral palsy, often needed more of my mother’s love and care than me and my other siblings did. Through her parenting, I learned what it meant to create a culture of equity—where every person gets the right amount of support they need to be successful—which has proven critical in my own teaching journey. 

Today I teach social studies in a juvenile detention facility in Virginia, where I work to create a positive school culture and empower my students to become civically-minded social advocates. When I was selected as Virginia’s Teacher of the Year, and then National Teacher of the Year, I was elated—mostly for my students. Their stories don’t often fit into the typical educational story in America, but they represent the power and possibility of second chances. They deserve a great education to take advantage of that second chance, and I’m eager to advocate for what they—along with other students from underprivileged backgrounds—need to be successful. That’s also why I’m so happy that Google is showing up this Teacher Appreciation Week, including a new $5 million grant to DonorsChoose.org, to make it easier for us to build classrooms that reflect the diversity of our students.

Google Doodle for Teacher Appreciation Week

Today’s Doodle was co-designed by the 57 2019 Teachers of the Year, representing each U.S. state, extra-state territories, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity.

Google’s homepage today is a tribute to teachers, and I feel proud to see the contribution I made—alongside my 56 fellow State Teachers of the Year—up there for everyone to see. Since Google is a sponsor of The Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) National Teacher of the Year program, we had the opportunity to spend a few days at Google’s Bay Area headquarters where I learned a lot about technology and using storytelling, advocacy and leadership in my practice. I am glad to see companies like Google have teachers’ backs.

The Teachers of the Year gather in San Francisco

While at Google, I got to engage in meaningful discussions with my fellow 2019 Teachers of the Year about how together we can advocate for solutions to some of the biggest issues in education.


A $5 million investment to bring teachers’ ideas to life

Today Google is making one of its largest teacher-focused grants to date, through a $5 million Google.org grant that will unlock over $10 million for teachers through DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit organization that helps teachers get funding for classroom resources and projects. For every dollar you donate to a teacher’s classroom on DonorsChoose.org today, Google will put in an extra fifty cents to help teachers get funding, from 8:00 AM EST on Monday, May 6 until 3:00 AM EST on Tuesday, May 7, up to $1.5 million total.

Later this month, the remaining $3.5 million of this grant will also go toward supporting underrepresented teachers and those looking to create more inclusive classrooms. Representation means so much to my students, which is why it’s so important to have teachers  who value their cultures and look like them .

Free resources and trainings for educators, by educators

Google is also launching free online and in-person resources and trainings. In the Teacher Center, you’ll find a new section with teacher guides and lesson plans—created for teachers, by teachers—made to help create classrooms that best reflect our students. And throughout the week, you can attend free in-person trainings for educators in the new Google Learning Center in New York City, led by teachers like me(!) and 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples, as well as teacher-focused organizations like TED-Ed. I’ll also be doing an Education On Air session later this week, so you can even tune in virtually.

Making it easier for teachers to learn from one another

As teachers, we often learn from each other. That’s why all of the 2019 State Teachers of the Year have recorded words of insight and encouragement to share with our fellow educators as part of CCSSO and Google’s “Lessons from Teachers of the Year” YouTube series.

As part of our work with Google, we also received early access toTED Masterclass, a new TED-Ed professional learning program they sponsored that supports educators in sharing their ideas in the form of TED-style talks. You can now check out several of my fellow educators’ TED Talks on the newly launchedTED-Ed Educator Talks YouTube Channel. More than 5,000 educators, including Google Certified Innovative Educators, are busy developing their Talks.

I hope you’ll join us in celebrating teachers everywhere who go the extra mile to help every student succeed. You can start exploring classroom projects eligible for today’s match on DonorsChoose.org, and of course, remember to #thankateacher—because we deserve it.

Honoring J.S. Bach with our first AI-powered Doodle

Ever wondered what Johann Sebastian Bach would sound like if he rocked out? You can find out by exploring today’s AI-powered Google Doodle, which honors Bach’s birthday and legacy as one of the greatest composers of all time. A musician and composer during the Baroque period of the 18th century, Bach produced hundreds of compositions including cantatas, concertos, suites and chorales. In today’s Doodle, you can create your own melody, and through the magic of machine learning, the Doodle will harmonize your melody in Bach’s style. You can also explore inside the Doodle to see how the model Bach-ifys familiar tunes, or how your new collaboration might sound in a more modern rock style.

Today’s Doodle is the result of a collaboration between the Doodle, Magenta and PAIR teams at Google. The Magenta team aims to help people make music and art using machine learning, and PAIR produces tools or experiences to make machine learning enjoyable for everyone.

The first step in creating an AI-powered Doodle was building a machine learning model to power it. Machine learning is the process of teaching a computer to come up with its own answers by showing it a lot of examples, instead of giving it a set of rules to follow (as is done in traditional computer programming). Anna Huang, an AI Resident on Magenta, developed Coconet, a model that can be used in a wide range of musical tasks—such as harmonizing melodies, creating smooth transitions between disconnected fragments of music and composing from scratch (check out more of these technical details in today’s Magenta blog post).

Next, we personalized the model to match Bach’s musical style. To do this, we trained Coconet on 306 of Bach’s chorale harmonizations. His chorales always have four voices: each carries their own melodic line, creating a rich harmonic progression when played together. This concise structure makes the melodic lines good training data for a machine learning model. So when you create a melody of your own on the model in the Doodle, it harmonizes that melody in Bach's specific style.

Beyond the artistic and machine learning elements of the Doodle, we needed a lot of servers in order to make sure people around the world could use the Doodle. Historically, machine learning has been run on servers, which means that info is sent from a person’s computer to data centers, and then the results are sent back to the computer. Using this same approach for the Bach Doodle would have generated a lot of back-and-forth traffic.

To make this work, we used PAIR’s TensorFlow.js, which allows machine learning to happen entirely within an internet browser. However, for cases where someone’s computer or device might not be fast enough to run the Doodle using TensorFlow.js, the machine learning model is run on Google’s new Tensor Processing Units (TPUs), a way of quickly handling machine learning tasks in data centers. Today’s Doodle is the first one ever to use TPUs in this way.

Head over to today’s Doodle and find out what your collaboration with the famous composer sounds like!