Dylan Hoffman was 7 when he drew this winning picture for Doodle 4 Google in 2012. The Wisconsin second-grader created “Pirate Time” in response to the theme “if I could travel in time, I’d visit ... .” (Google )

Leonardo da Vinci didn’t come up with the idea for a parachute or scuba gear all at once. He scribbled ideas on paper. Those drawings helped Leonardo became one of the most famous doodlers in history.

Google is looking for the next generation of inventors. The seventh annual Doodle 4 Google contest, launched Tuesday, asks kids to create a doodle based on the theme “if I could invent one thing to make the world a better place.”

A panel of judges, including authors Rick Riordan and Mary Pope Osborne, will choose finalists and one winner from each state. The public will then vote online for the top winner in each age group. Google officials will choose the overall winner, who will receive a $30,000 scholarship and $50,000 for his or her school.

The contest is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Entries (only one per person) are due by March 20. Details are available at www.google.com/doodle4google.

Staff reports