Allison Rhee, an Irvine elementary school student, advanced to the final five in the 15th annual Doodle for Google national contest on Tuesday. 

Doodle for Google is an annual art contest, open to students in grades K-12. The competition encourages students to create their own Google Doodle for the chance to have it featured on By entering into the contest, students also have a chance to win scholarships and technology materials for their schools. 

This year, students were challenged to create a Doodle that illustrated something they are grateful for. Rhee illustrated what she calls “Joshua Tree,” and wrote about a special moment visiting the landmark with her family. 

“I was grateful when I went to the Joshua tree with my family,” Rhee wrote in response to her Doodle prompt. “I loved seeing the stars and making smores. It made me realize how small we are compared to the universe. I was thankful that I was brought into this world from the best family in the whole wide world. My mom and I talked about the stars all night long. It was a memorable night.”

Google selects a panel of guest judges each year to judge the competition. Doodles were judged on three categories: artistic merit, creativity and theme communication. Once the judges narrowed down the pool to the 54 best Doodles in 54 states and territories, the public was invited to vote online for their favorite Doodles, one from each grade group including grades K-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, and 10-12.

Rhee was initially selected as one of the 54 state and territory winners in the K-3 grade category, among thousands of submissions. After voting closed, Rhee’s Doodle was one of five submissions to garner the most votes, solidifying her spot as a national finalist. 

From here, a panel of Google employees will select and announce one of the five finalists as the national winner. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 6. 

To learn more about the Doodle for Google competition, visit