Lexington Christian Academy student is Kentucky's Google doodle winner

ctruman@herald-leader.comApril 29, 2014 

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    Google.com/doodle4google: Online voting will take place through 8 p.m May 9. The highest-ranking doodler from each grade group will be named as a national finalist. Five national finalists (one per grade group) will be announced in an awards ceremony on May 21 at Google headquarters in California.

Josie Psimer, a 13-year-old Lexington Christian Academy student, just hit the digital jackpot. Her Google "doodle" will represent Kentucky in a national contest.

The national contest's theme is "If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place." The seventh-grader's idea is an animal speech translator inspired by her dog, Haggie, a male 5-year-old Labrador/Australian border collie mix.

Her gadget would translate dog language so humans could know, for example, when the dog was expressing love to its human.

"I love animals and dogs so much, ... and I wanted to know what he's thinking, what he's saying," Josie said Tuesday, before a school assembly to honor her win.

Josie, the daughter of Jerry and Susie Psimer, was encouraged to enter the national contest by her art teacher, Kerry Cayse.

"I said, 'Guys, your chances aren't great. But it costs nothing to enter, and you might win," Cayse said.

Eventually, the 50 state winners will be whittled down to five national finalists and one national winner. Each state winner, including Josie, will win a trip to the Google headquarters in California for the awards ceremony on May 21, plus an Android tablet and a T-shirt printed with his or her doodle on it.

The national winner will see his or her artwork on Google's homepage and will receive a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for his or her school.

Google users can vote for a favorite Google doodle at Google.com/doodle4google.

Josie said that when she found out that she had won for Kentucky, she was a little stunned. "Every time I think about it, it just blows my mind," she said.

Cheryl Truman: (859) 231-3202. Twitter: @CherylTruman.

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