The illustration on Google's homepage on Monday may look pretty whimsical, but it's spotlighting a very serious issue: clean water. Not bad for an 11-year-old from Long Island.
Audrey Zhang, a fifth-grader from Levittown, N.Y., is the winner of this year's Doodle 4 Google competition, rising to the top of some 100,000 entries on the theme of "draw one thing to make the world a better place."
Her piece, titled “Back to Mother Nature," depicts an elaborate water-cleaning machine. Zhang worked with a team of artists at Google to animate her drawing.
"To make the world a better place, I invented a transformative water purifier," Google quoted Zhang as saying. "It takes in dirty and polluted water from rivers, lakes and even oceans, then massively transforms the water into clean, safe and sanitary water. When humans and animals drink this water, they will live a healthier life."
She created a whole world around the device -- one populated by humans, a whale in a top hat and dragons.
Zhang's piece is “so lush and so rich and so full and so complete,” Google Doodle team leader Ryan Germick told the Washington Post. “Every leaf seemed to have life in it.”
Along with having her artwork featured on Google's homepage, Zhang wins a $30,000 college scholarship. In addition, her school will receive a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant, and the company is donating $20,000 in her name to a charity dedicated to bringing clean water to schools in Bangladesh.
On top of that, an anonymous donor agreed to match that last donation, making it $40,000 for the clean-water program.
On Sunday, the night before the Doodle debuted, Zhang told Newsday she was "excited" by the big win, but said she wouldn't be awake when her art first went online at midnight.
I have school tomorrow, so I can't stay up late," she told the paper.
Watch Zhang win the competition below: