Rachel Gutting | Editor
West Lyon sixth grader, Molly Knobloch, placed as a finalist in the nationwide Doodle 4 Google challenge last week. As a finalist, she was chosen to represent Iowa in the 6-7th grade category.
Annually, Google sponsors the kindergarten through grade 12 art competition that challenges kids to design a new logo for their iconic website. Kids throughout the United States are given a theme to use when designing the logo; this year’s theme was ““My Best Day Ever…”
After being encouraged to participate in the competition by her art teacher, Kirsten Rausch, twelve-year-old Molly of Alvord decided to incorporate a craft theme into the Google logo, and began working on it over the course of a three day span.
“At the end I said I can just try it, probably won’t get it, but at least I tried,” Molly said.
While the competition began in January, many of the students, primarily sixth graders like Molly, were busy with other activities and weren’t able to put much time into the project until the very end, which concluded at the end of March.
Sixth graders were really busy most of the time when the competition was going, so unfortunately, they didn’t get much in-class time. Molly pretty much worked on it all out of class,” Rausch said.
Molly wasn’t the only West Lyon student to participate. Rausch had initially heard about Doodle 4 Google a year ago in the final days of the 2012 competition. Since it was too late to get her students involved last year, she jumped at the chance when it rolled around this year in January. She encouraged her students to participate when it began, and then subsequently followed up with them over the course of the three months, eventually giving them in class-time to work on it.
Of the 500 or so elementary school children at West Lyon, Rausch said that about 100 to 150 students of hers submitted designs for the competition.
In spite of the limited time, Molly’s project prevailed. Google announced the finalists on May 1. Molly’s dad and mom, Vern and Chalea, received a message from representatives at Doodle 4 Google notifying the family that Molly was 1 of 250 finalists chosen, which was a huge feat considering that there were 130,000 entries in the competition.
The entries were broken down into five categories according to grades K-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-12. From there, one child from each state, of a particular age division, was chosen. In all, there were 250 finalists, and ultimately, Molly was chosen to represent Iowa in the 6-7-grade age category.
“I don’t think I ever have very good luck,” Molly said. “It helped me boost my confidence because I’ve liked art since I was little and stuff, but I never thought that I was really that good at it.
In addition to the recognition, Molly will receive a certificate and a t-shirt, as well as have her logo displayed on the Doodle 4 Google finalists’ page, which can be found at http://www.google.com/doodle4google/finalists.html#d=d3-22, along with the other finalists.
Rause plans to give her students the opportunity to participate in the competition in following years, and Molly said that she’d try again as a seventh grader.
“I’m very proud of Molly,” Rause said, and added, “Not only is this great recognition for Molly, but I think that kids can realize, in this small community, that you can do big things.”