Have you ever gone to the Google homepage expecting to see the usual Google logo but something a little different pops up?  That’s the Google Doodlers and engineers using the Google logo to entertain and enlighten Google users around the world.google doodle

So how did this idea of the Google Doodles come about?  In 1998 before Google was even considered a company, the founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, placed a stick drawing behind the second “o” in the Google logo.  This alteration on the logo was intended to let users know that the founders were “out of office” attending the Burning Man festival in Nevada.  Thus, the first Google doodle was born.  In 2000 Dennis Hwang was asked to produce a doodle for Bastille Day.  It was a big hit and Dennis became Google’s chief doodler.  Doodles are now used to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists.

Google has started a competition for kids in grades K-12.  The requirements are different every year.  This year’s competition asked the children to illustrate an invention that would make the world a better place.  The winner receives a $30,000 scholarship for college, the child’s school receives a $50,000 grant for improvements in technology, and Google also donates $20,000 to a nonprofit organization.  The winner’s artwork is published on Google’s homepage.

According to a report released by SPARK Movement, Google’s doodles weren’t exactly gender equal, with 62% representing white men, 12% white women and 4% women of color.  Google has started addressing this inequality.  Since the beginning of June, women have accounted for nearly 50% of doodle designs!

Do you think you have a great idea for a Google doodle?  Even though they receive hundreds of ideas every day, the Google Doodle team would love to hear from you.  Email them at [email protected].  Maybe your idea will be chosen.