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Google's search for doodles pays off for Falmouth student

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Google's search for doodles pays off for Falmouth student

FALMOUTH — A Falmouth Middle School student won a $5,000 scholarship after finishing in the top five in a national contest sponsored by Google.

Eighth-grader Joseph Han, 14, received the award for a drawing he submitted in the Doodle 4 Google contest. His was one of 130,000 entries; he was named one of 50 finalists in early May.

The finalists, selected via online votes, were flown to the Museum of Natural History in New York City last week, where their drawings were displayed. Google chose the winner.

"It felt great. It was really exciting," Han said of winning his age group. "I'm really happy that I got this far and appreciate the support of everyone in Falmouth and Maine."

He said the ceremony was an interesting experience.

"Google headquarters was really cool. I've never seen a work place like that," he said. "There was a lot of really talented artists and I'm glad I was able to meet them."

Han's drawing, titled "Late Afternoon Bliss," is a colorful natural scene representing one of his favorite places along the Presumpscot River behind his house. It's based on the contest's theme, "My Best Day Ever," and has elements within the drawing that spell out G-o-o-g-l-e. 

The drawing took about three days to create and is made of watercolors and ink, Han said.

The contest winner – Sabrina Brady, a high school student from Wisconsin – had her drawing displayed on Google's home page for 24 hours. She also received a $30,000 scholarship to the school of her choice and a $50,000 technology grant for her school.

Although it's still early for Han to be considering where he is going to use his scholarship, he said he will likely pursue illustration and writing.

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or wgraff@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.