Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Partners with Google on Design Contest for K-12 Students

February 3, 2009
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The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum today announced a partnership with Google Inc. for this year’s U.S. “Doodle 4 Google” design competition. K-12 students from across the country are challenged to think like designers, using Google’s iconic logo to convey their hopes and dreams inspired by the theme, “What I wish for the world.” On May 21, the winning student’s design will be the doodle of the day on the Google home page. The top four designs along with the 40 regional winners will be featured in a special exhibition at Cooper-Hewitt from May 21 through July 5. The exhibition will focus on the problem-solving nature of the design process and will include educational programs for teachers and students.

“We are very excited to partner with Cooper-Hewitt this year on our annual Doodle 4 Google competition, which puts education and design at the forefront,” said Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google. “Cooper-Hewitt has always been focused on education and fostering the brightest design minds of tomorrow, so they are a perfect partner for Doodle 4 Google.”

“This contest and exhibition furthers the museum’s extensive work with teachers,” said Paul Warwick Thompson, director of Cooper-Hewitt. “Bringing design and design thinking into the classroom helps students develop 21st-century skills such as: defining problems, communicating in verbal and written formats and working creatively to find solutions.”

Students’ designs will be judged on artistic merit, creativity, representation of the theme and other criteria. A panel of independent judges and representatives from Google and Cooper-Hewitt will select the top doodles across age groups, from which the public will help select the final four designs. The grand-prize winner will be announced at an event hosted at Cooper-Hewitt and the Google New York office May 20. The doodle will be displayed on the Google home page the following day. Courtesy of Google, the champion “doodler” will also receive a $15,000 college scholarship and a $25,000 technology grant for the student’s school. This year’s competition also includes a $10,000 award to recognize the school district with the greatest-quality participation.

The customization of the Google logo started in 1999, and the doodles are created by a team of Google designers, including webmaster Dennis Hwang. The doodle team has creatively depicted worldwide events, anniversaries and holidays with doodles that incorporate the Google logo.

Teachers may register their class online by going to Registration closes March 17 and all entries must be postmarked by March 31. Further information, competition details, videos and past doodles are also available at

Image files of past Google doodles and materials from last year’s competition are available at

About the Museum
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational programs, exhibitions and publications. Founded in 1897 by Amy, Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt—granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper—as part of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the museum has been a branch of the Smithsonian since 1967.

The Museum’s award-winning, nationally recognized education programs—including A City of Neighborhoods, Design Directions and Summer Design Institute—encourage students and teachers to see themselves as designers in their own right as they engage in the design process through active observation, discussion, strategies for visual communication, and critique.

Cooper-Hewitt is located at 2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue in New York City. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Public transit routes include the Lexington Avenue 4, 5 and 6 subways (86th or 96th Street stations) and the Fifth and Madison Avenue buses. General admission, $15; senior citizens and students ages 12 and older, $10. Cooper-Hewitt and Smithsonian members and children younger than age 12 are admitted free. For further information, please call (212) 849-8300 or visit The museum is fully accessible.

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