So today's focus is.... The Engineering Notebook!
In FIRST Tech Challenge the engineering notebook is a tool to help teams show their journey, their trials and errors, their mistakes and modifications, and all their ideas throughout the season. It is a very important part of the engineering process and a team's improvement. A good notebook includes pictures and details the team's engineering experiences. It's not just the benefits, it's all the mishaps, failures, and spontaneous explosions throughout the season! It also is a tool for teams to use when they come to a problem that they have experienced before. In short, they can reference a previous post and head away from ideas that they have tried before that have failed or not worked as planned. It's a reference item!
A TEAM engineering notebook should not be posted in by ONE person. There is no "I" in "Team"!
To be eligible for many of the awards in FTC an engineering notebook is required. Judges want to see a team's experience throughout the season. See the awards that need to have an engineering notebook here!
There are two types of engineering notebooks - electronic and handwritten. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
An electronic notebook is beneficial for its convenience; it's easy to insert pictures and shapes, and it is neat and tidy. It's organized easier and and harder to lose! You have to make sure you have it saved it multiple places! (Save early save often!) Some disadvantages are the fact that you can't easily insert handwritten pictures or other handwritten notes, and it's easy to modify data. It also takes longer to open or download, and as the season goes on it will take longer to open because it lengthens.
The handwritten notebook is easy to show a team's progress throughout the year - you can't erase all the rips and tears and scribbles! You can put hand drawings into it, not just computer designs. It takes a lot to maintain and it's harder to organize, and doesn't look as neat. It's easier to lose as well, especially if someone misplaces it. ;)
An engineering notebook is also to show some of the team's outreach during the season. With outreach, you have to make sure it doesn't interfere with the robot and engineering process you've shown in other posts! Pictures are important!
If you want to see our engineering notebook from last year, have other questions, want help formatting your notebook, or have other questions, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or use the contact form over at About Us. We'll be glad to help!