Warriors, aka us, have recently won design award and we are not exactly sure how. Yes, our notebook is fairly nice but not as great as what was said by the announcer when we recieved the award. We had a 1 piston for pneumatics that pushed up on the metal that would fling a ball. That was one catapult and on the other side gears had spun inacting another one. We have made a “transmission” now and we have been keeping track in our notebook, however is there anything else to do that could help? Poster? Copying the pages from the notebook and put them into a binder with programming stuff? Any other ideas? We really appreciate it! Thanks!
The features of your robot (so the piston and the catapult and the transmission that you mention in your post) aren’t supposed to contribute to the design award. The design award is meant to be based only on your design process and documentation, not on the specifics of how your robot is built or what it does. Otherwise it would have too much overlap with other awards. In fact I’m pretty sure judges are supposed to be able to judge the design award without even seeing the robot.
@Oliver W so its pretty much based off the notebook? Would maybe anything else contribute that we could do?
At many competitions there will be an interview in addition to the notebook submission. Have a look at the rubric that TitaniumNyanKat linked to - it has a notebook section and an interview section.
Something to consider: Teamwork is a significant component (23%+) of your rubric score (and it’s also important if the judges are using a simpler score sheet such as this one: http://www.roboticseducation.org/documents/2014/02/judges-scoresheet-for-awards-in-standard-trophy-pack.pdf). Teamwork is assessed based on the gap between your most helpful and least helpful member(s), and it sounds like team size doesn’t affect your teamwork score as long as you have 3 or more team members.
So for design award judging, your best chance of success will be if your three most knowledgeable and most engaged team members are the ones interviewed and if the judges believe that these are the only members of your team. If you credit anybody else in your notebook or take anybody else to the interview, then the additional members can only hurt you if the judging scheme is applied the way it sounds like it will be.
@Oliver W . Hmmm well every day has a different person writing and each day there is the question of the day asked by the person who will be writing in the next page. We will keep in mind that everyone needs to answer questions when asked as said on the rubric. We have 4 team members where I usually discuss programming, Jory (handload dude) discusses the transmission and our leader talks about the transmission and the last guy talks about strategies we come up with before every match. Do they favor when people each have an idea of everything else but is mostly targeting a certain area or some other way?
Four people is a good number if you all have a high level of involvement. But adding a fifth member on a more casual basis later in the season would be a mistake, for the reasons stated above. If you want to add someone like that to the team then go ahead but just leave them out of the notebook and award interviews because you would prefer for the judges not to know they exist.
You should have some level of specialisation officially, because one of the judging points is that you all contributed something (“students explain how each team member contributed to the design and strategy”). If two people shared responsibility for one part of the project then the judges don’t know whether work was split evenly or not. If those two people were responsible for different things then the judges know that they both contributed a significant amount of work.
But unofficially, you should share tasks as much as is practical so that you know in as much depth as possible what happened during every part of the project. If your left hand doesn’t’ know what your right hand is doing, then you’ll drop from “all students independently answer the judges’ questions” to “students support each other as needed to answer the judges’ questions” and you want to avoid that.
So share the work around, but each member should have one major task that’s officially their responsibility that they can take credit for in the interview.