Engineering Design Notebooks and Tips

Engineering design notebooks



  • Do not write too much, try to balance the writings with the pictures
  • Draw more! Do not only use photos
  • Seperate your writings as paragraphs to make them easier to read
  • Use different colors on your notebook to make it more intriguing
  • You can highlight important information in order to get them to draw more attention
  • Try to insert as many photos of the robot as possible, these photos can help the judges understand what you are trying to explain.
  • You can draw arrows to express which part of the writing your photos reflect
  • Do not only write about your VEX robot’s building process, you can include anything that your team has been working on throughout this process
  • If you are using a 3D design program, try to insert rendered images to your notebook
  • Do not use a pencil for the writings, try to use a pen.
  • Do not start writing your notebook after the robot is completed. Take notes daily and treat your notebook like a diary
  • Your notebook does not have to be flawless. Don’t always try to avoid making mistakes, you can draw a single line on miswritten parts. Your notebook should look natural, not planned
  • Feel free to scratch over unwanted or incorrect writings and drawings, as long as it does not make the whole notebook look unkempt
  • You can add QR codes in your notebook if you want to add videos
  • Try to write in great detail, someone reading your notebook should be able to build your robot from scratch, however don’t forget to divide your writing into paragraphs
  • You can work on multiple notebooks for different subjects (3D design, programming, etc.)
  • Always check the Engineering Design Notebook Rubric to make sure that you have included everything that’s required
  • Personalize your notebook, you can draw your logo on the cover of your notebook, this can make the notebook look more interesting.
  • Do not forget to write dates. These do not always have to be specific days, it can also be a time period that you have worked on the written subject.
  • Include a table of contents at the beginning of your notebook, it is a good idea to write the table of contents at the end so leaving a few blank pages at the start might be a good idea
  • Do not forget to write the project name, and sign the “designed by” and “witnessed by” parts under each section
  • Even though the notebook should be written daily and therefore look more natural, try to keep it organized and neat too.
  • Try to reflect all of your engineering design process steps to your notebook (wish-prefer-demand charts, weighted objective tables, etc.)
  • Try to add your “napkin sketches” to your notebook too

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