Military child doodles way to Google award

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Grace Nichols
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Ethan Darby, military dependent and homeschool student from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, was selected as the state’s finalist for the 10th annual nationwide Doodle 4 Google contest.

The contest allows children in grades K-12 to submit drawings for the chance to be featured on Google’s front page, and compete for various prizes including scholarships.

7-18 May, the United States public will vote online for their favorite doodle from the national winners. These votes will help determine the national finalists.

A panel of Google executives will choose one of the five national finalists and announce the national winner the first week of June.

The seven-year-old was chosen by Google from thousands of submissions for his entry in this year’s theme, “What inspires me?”

“At Google, we find ourselves continuously inspired by the world around us. There is so much beauty to draw from, and we would love to see what kids find inspirational,” according to a Doodle 4 Google vision statement.

Darby’s drawing depicted robots surrounding the Google logo on an orange background.

“I drew robots because I am inspired by them,” Darby said. “I want to invent them when I grow up.”

Surprising Ethan with a celebration and awards ceremony, Google representatives gave him items including virtual reality glasses, a large poster with his doodle design and a Chromebook.

Children in general have such big imaginations,” said Victoria Gazulis, Google Double-Click account executive out of Google’s San Francisco, California office. “As we move into adulthood that can sometimes get lost in the redundancies of our day; kids like Ethan are our future.”

If Darby is selected as the national winner, he will receive a college scholarship and his homeschool community will receive $5,000 in value toward various technology or programs through Google. Also, he may donate $45,000 in value toward the establishment or improvement of a computer lab or a technology program for a public library or school in his community.

“It’s awesome that Google reached out to not just in-seat schools but homeschools as well,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Darby, Ethan’s father, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron electrical power productions technician. “As a military family, the fact that Google and my whole squadron came to celebrate with us speaks volumes. I want Ethan to take that to heart and know that they’re not just coworkers, they’re family.”

To follow the Doodle 4 Google competition and to vote, go to