Dino-mite! Virginia 2nd-Grader Wins Fame & $30,000 Scholarship With Dinosaur-Themed Google Doodle — and They Move!

Sarah Gomez-Lane/Google

This article is one in a series at The 74 that profiles the heroes, victories, success stories, and random acts of kindness found at schools all across America. Read more of our recent inspiring profiles at The74Million.org/series/inspiring.

Some kids dream of becoming teachers or doctors.

Sarah Gomez-Lane, a second-grader at Pine Spring Elementary School in Falls Church, Virginia, dreams of digging up and dusting off dinosaur fossils. And her paleontological pursuits won her top honors in the 2018 Doodle 4 Google U.S. student competition for grades K-3.

Sarah’s dino drawing was recently featured on Google’s homepage.

Click to see the full doodle (Sarah Gomez-Lane/Google)

And, for the first time in Doodle for Google’s 10-year history, the tech company’s designers and software engineers got in on the act, transforming Sarah’s artwork into an interactive experience.

When users click on various parts of the drawing, the T-rex plays the trumpet, the triceratops eats ice cream, and the stegosaurus blows bubblegum bubbles. 

Sarah’s mom and dad, Maria Lane and Enrique Gomez, told the Falls Church News Press that they discovered the contest only because of a windstorm that closed both her school and her parents’ places of employment. Searching on their phones for activities to keep the family occupied on their unexpected day off, they stumbled upon the Doodle for Google contest.

The deadline was that night, so Sarah went straight to work. The prompt was “What Inspires Me…”

With colored pencils and big aspirations, she sketched some dinosaurs in the shape of the Google logo and submitted her drawing.

Out of 183,000 submissions, WJLA reported, Sarah’s won.

“When they called my name, I felt happy and surprised,” Sarah says on the video. “I’m going to call my principal. He’s going to say, ‘Yay.’”

Sarah will receive $30,000 toward a college scholarship, and her elementary school will receive $50,000 toward technology in the classroom.

The annual contest is open to students in grades K-12.

“We are so proud of her,” Sarah’s dad said.

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