LLHS student is state’s Doodle 4 Google winner; competing for $30K scholarship

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Sam Martin’s classmates cheered him on like a rock star last week.

At a fine arts awards assembly at Los Lunas High School, the senior learned he was the state winner in Google’s sixth annual Doodle 4 Google competition.

Julia M. Dendinger-News-Bulletin photo: Los Lunas High School senior Sam Martin, center, is in the running for a $30,000 academic scholarship from the search engine giant, thanks to his ability to “doodle.” Martin, the son of Greg and Chelsey Martin, is seen here with his doodle and Google employees Eddie Kaletta, far left, and Benna Wise, far right.

The auditorium erupted when his name was announced and his doodle unveiled under a red, yellow, blue and green arch. Martin’s winning doodle depicts a young man on horseback taking in the view of a mountain lake with the ubiquitous Google logo in the background.

Since 2008, the Doodle 4 Google competition has sought drawings from students across the country in kindergarten through 12th grade. This year’s theme, “My Best Day Ever …” drew 130,000 entries.

Martin’s colored-pencil doodle shows the day he and his Boy Scout troop rode horses in Colorado a few years ago.

“We rode up to Emerald Lake in the Weminuche Wilderness Area, where we had a great time fishing all day,” Martin said.

Martin knew he was the state winner two weeks before the May 1 announcement. It was a hard secret to keep, but he managed.

The artwork of all the state winners is displayed on the Doodle 4 Google website, www.google.com/doodle4google, where viewers across the country can vote for their favorite through Friday, May 10.

As New Mexico’s winner, Martin and his family will attend a May 22 awards ceremony in New York City where the five national Google doodle finalists and national winner will be announced.

The winning student’s doodle will be displayed on the Google homepage on May 23 and receive a $30,000 college scholarship. The winning student’s school also will receive a $50,000 technology grant.

The national winner also will receive a Google Chromebook, a Wacom digital design tablet and a t-shirt printed with his or her doodle on it.

Each of the other four national finalists will win a $5,000 educational grant to be used at the school of their choice, a Wacom digital design tablet and a t-shirt with their doodle printed on it. Winning doodles will be featured in a special exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History through July 14.

Martin’s parents, Greg and Chelsey Martin, said the $30,000 scholarship will go a long way to getting their son through his four years at Brigham Young University.

In 2012, Google received 114,000 submission from students in all 50 states.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.