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Dandy 'doodle'

Mar 5, 2017 By Andrea Novotny, Staff Writer

RMS student's design a finalist in Google contest nationwide

The art of a Riverton Middle School student may soon be seen by millions of people around the world.

Riverton eighth-grader Andrew Bilango was recently selected as a finalist in the Google Doodle contest. If he wins, his art will be featured as a Google Doodle--meaning it would appear on the Google.com home page for a day.

Bilango's entry

This year's contest asked students to draw their vision of the future. In Bilango's piece, each letter of the "Google" brand name is styled as a different field of study: biology, chemistry, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Astronomy, respectively.

He said it took him two to three hours to complete the piece.

Andrew's mother, Luvim Bilango, said her son did not find out he was a finalist until the night before a school presentation announcing it, but she and his father, Jason, had known for a month.

"We were called by Google a month ago, and they requested that this be a secret until this day, and it was like, 'We cannot keep a secret for a month!' But we did," she said.

RMS art teacher Cindy Thomas, who facilitated the contest entries of RMS students, said about 20-25 of her students returned completed doodles, and that she was not surprised by the results.

"Andrew is very, very talented -- probably one of the most talented students I've ever had," she said. "He's taught me so much; he's taught the kids so much. He's just amazing."

What's next?

More than 100,000 K-12 students entered the contest. From there, a team of Google employees, including artists who create official Google Doodles for the page on a regular basis, picked just 53 finalists, one from each state and three territories.

"I was so shocked and surprised that I was going to be the representative of Wyoming," Bilango said.

"It's unbelievable, like a dream, like, my art is being shown to everybody in the whole world."

From the 53 finalists, winners will be narrowed down to five based on an online popular vote, which will be open through 4 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on Monday, March 6. All 53 finalist creations are on display online now, at doodles.google.com/d4g/.

From those five, a panel of Google employees will then select the winner, who, in addition to having his or her art featured, will receive a $30,000 award.

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Riverton eighth-grader Andrew Bilango, left, and Riverton Middle School art teacher Cindy Thomas with an enlargement of the Google

Riverton eighth-grader Andrew Bilango, left, and Riverton Middle School art teacher Cindy Thomas with an enlargement of the Google "doodle" that the RMS student created. It has been named a finalist in a national competition by the internet giant. Google Doodles are the stylized versions of the search engine's name that are updated daily. Photo by Andrea Novotny


Riverton eighth-grader Andrew Bilango, left, and Riverton Middle School art teacher Cindy Thomas with an enlargement of the Google

Riverton eighth-grader Andrew Bilango, left, and Riverton Middle School art teacher Cindy Thomas with an enlargement of the Google "doodle" that the RMS student created. It has been named a finalist in a national competition by the internet giant. Google Doodles are the stylized versions of the search engine's name that are updated daily. Photo by Andrea Novotny

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2017-10-17