Engineering Notebook Presentation

Tips for Creating An
Engineering Notebook
What is the purpose of an
Engineering Notebook?
• Show the process that your team takes to
create their robot
• Act as a storage unit for design ideas
• Help team members successfully
communicate with each other and
remember reasoning behind ideas
• Rep your team
• Keep team on track
TIP #1:
Handwritten vs. Electronic
• Shows originality and
team work
• Harder to remove pages
• Easier to loose
• Illegible handwriting
• No stubborn Word
Really difficult to loose
No illegible handwriting
Can’t tell who wrote what
Easier to remove content
For Electronic Notebooks…
No larger than 1.5” binder
Sheet protectors look professional
All pages must be numbered and in order
2 people must sign each entry: the person
who wrote the entry and a witness
For Handwritten Notebooks…
• Must be spiral bound, laboratory, or
documentation notebook
• No loose leaf
• Numbered pages are highly recommended
(but not necessary)
• The person who wrote the entry must sign
their name
According to FIRST…
“Teams may choose to record their
season with either handwritten or
electronic or online documents. No
distinction is made between handwritten
and electronic Engineering Notebooks
during judging.”
TIP #2:
Regardless of your medium, you
should have…
• Title page (team name, number, game name,
game year, the words “engineering
notebook”, and maybe a picture of the team)
• Table of Contents that use the title of each
page as reference
• Page numbers on every page
• Titles on every page
• The author of each page should sign and
date their work
• Sticky Tabs (6-12)
TIP #3:
The judges want to know who they
are judging, so…
• Include individual bios of team members,
coaches, and mentors with pictures
– Name, grade or age, interests, reason for joining
FTC or robotics team
• Outreach activities and community
• Team activities
• Show team spirit and personality
• Sticky Tabs (6-12)
TIP #4:
Just like school papers,
engineering notebooks have a
specific format…
• Caption all visuals (nothing worse than
unexplained, random content)
• Number pages
• Table of contents
• Leave no blank spaces
For Handwritten Notebooks…
• Blank space should be X-ed out neatly
with a signature and date
• Visuals should be outlined in ink so if they
fall out, it is known they should be there
• Use both sides of the page
• Signature and date
• Page numbers
• Start a new page each meeting
For Electronic Notebooks…
• Somehow indicate who authored what
content and when
• Use headings and styles for easy table of
content population
• Leave no blank space
• No crazy fonts and font sizes
(recommended size 12, Times New
Roman or Arial)
• Page numbers
TIP #5:
Some people are more visual
• Include:
– Charts
– Graphs
– Data tables
– Pictures
– Drawings
– CAD Models
• BUT adding content without explaining it is
adding random content, use captions!
A few notes about visuals
• Electronic
– There is a caption function in Word, right click
on the picture and choose insert caption.
• Handwritten
– Visuals should be outlined so if they fall out, it
is known they are missing.
– Visuals should also be captioned.
TIP #6:
• A page in the front of the book with your
team’s engineering process
• Follow this process throughout the book
• Great place for a visual!
Constraints and
TIP #7:
Teamwork can be shown in a
number of ways…
• If everyone writes something in the
• If pictures and visuals demonstrate
• If writing demonstrates teamwork
TIP #8:
The Notebook is About
• Show design rationale
• Use data, models, prototypes, etc.
• Basically, explain not only your design but
also HOW and WHY you came up with
your design
• Explain revisions in order to show design
TIP #9:
If you can’t read it, they can’t!
• Use neat handwriting
• Draw a SINGLE line through mistakes,
initial and date them
• Tape in pictures (it looks and feels better
than glue)
• Use permanent ink (not pencil)
• Treat your notebook with care (it shouldn’t
look like the team dog chewed it up!)
TIP #10:
Requirement Reminders
• Bill of Materials (one in notebook and one
at competition for inspection)
• Team name and number on title page and
• Pages in order
• Sticky Tabs (6-12)
• Team bios
Useful Resources
• All information regarding the Engineering
Notebook is on pages 13-15 of the Game
Manual Part 1
• Examples of scanned winning notebooks
available at
• You can e-mail Mary or I with questions:
[email protected]
[email protected]
Hope this helped!

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