WATERVILLE — Karin Zimba stood before the Albert S. Hall School assembly Monday morning and explained to fellow students how she put together her art project “Serendipity,” which mixed together seashells, driftwood stones, buttons and other objects she had collected.

She had blended the items together to spell “Google,” which had selected Zimba as the Maine winner in its national Doodle 4 Google contest.

Zimba, a 10-year-old in fifth grade, added a literacy explanation to her artwork, writing: “I’m a collector of things I’ve made, gifts I’ve received, a token from memorable day. I like to discover how each object relates to one another and arrange them harmoniously. Collecting reminds me of how we are connected to the world in our own unique way.”

Her art teacher, Hollie Hilton, said Zimba had been collecting the objects for her project since she was a child.

“She’s extremely bright and always questioning how she’s putting things together, envisioning what things are going to look like,” Hilton said. “She engages and persists in what her ideas are. She’s always taking activities home to work on them further.”

More than 100,000 students entered Google’s contest across the country. As the Maine state winner, Zimba received a tablet from Google, colored T-shirts for her fellow students (which they wore for Monday’s assembly), and the school will receive a kiln.

Two years ago, Zimba’s sister, Inga, won the art contest. “They really promote the arts really big with their girls,” Hilton said of the family.

Hilton said she was not surprised Zimba won and thinks her student’s explanation of the artwork has a broader message for all students: “What she says about her art is really important for all students to express — how they connect to the world. We’re all collectors of things.”

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