To vote

Through May 9, the public can vote to help decide the five national finalists at google.com/doodle4google/vote.html.

A vision of a machine that turns trash to flowers has won a Summerville student the top spot in this year's Doodle 4 Google competition.

John Christopher Wright, 12, a Rollings Middle School of the Arts sixth-grader, was South Carolina's winner with his doodle, "The J Nation Recycling Machine."

"The thing I would invent would be a recycling machine that not only recycles, but turns trash into flowers," he wrote in the description of his drawing. "This invention would help make the world better by making it a cleaner, safer, healthier, and prettier place to live. I would call my creation, 'The J Nation Recycling Machine.' "

A son of John and Leonis Wright of Summerville, he was also a state-level winner in 2012 with a time travel-themed drawing of a 1970s New Orleans jazz band.

On Tuesday, Google announced the 50 state winners in its seventh annual competition, a contest open to K-12 students across the nation to redesign the Google logo inspired by the theme "If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place..."

John's doodle was selected from more than 100,000 entries. Among the ideas submitted were water purification, advanced robotics and nutrition solutions.

The entries were judged on artistic merit, creativity and theme, and a winner was chosen for each state. The state winners are broken into five age divisions: grades K-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9 and 10-12.

Through May 9, the public can vote to help decide the five national finalists at google.com/doodle4google/vote.html.

John and his family will travel with other state winners on a free trip to visit Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., where the final five and a winner will be announced May 21.

The winning student will work with Google's "professional doodlers" to animate the doodle, which will be displayed on the Google homepage on June 9. The winner also receives a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education grant for his school.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.