Do you need a design diary

Hi, do you need a designe notebook/engernering notebook for nationals i havent really seen anything that says you need one but also nothing that says you dont.
Thanks for all your help

If you want to win any type of judged award (Excellence, Design, Innovate, etc.) at nationals, I’m pretty sure you need one. If you mean to make it to nationals, I don’t think you need one (correct me if I’m wrong), but I would HIGHLY recommend having one. Also please use spell check next time; this isn’t Discord :sob:.


You’re more likely to make it to nationals and worlds if you keep a notebook and apply the discipline it can afford you :slight_smile: The rules about notebooks are all motivated by the benefits to you as a developing engineer and team player. The sooner you learn to write up your work and share it well in collaboration and competition, the quicker you’ll grow as an engineer in the competition and real life. This is true of solo teams, too. Crafting the notebook takes you through the communication development and implementation processes that you absolutely need in order to be of value outside your own head. You don’t understand what you’ve done until you’ve created a stand-alone explanation of it. That will seem like a weird idea to you at this stage. It’s a thing you learn to appreciate over the years. If you can explain and share well, you’ll find that some of the work you need to do gets done by others. You become part of the bigger team and achieving your goals becomes that bit less arduous. Time spent writing saves you more time later. Your robot without the notebook work is one marshmallow. Your robot with thorough analysis, explanation and sharing is going to be more like two marshmallows. Unless it’s the night before your match, of course, in which case have the marshmallow while you remind yourself of how it’s supposed to work by checking your notebook.

Here’s an overview of judging:

You might wonder what verbiage means. Verbiage as a term implies excess. Waffle. Blithering on without adding information. In this case, simply replace “verbiage” with “text”.

This is a pdf of the rubric. I don’t know what stage of the development the verbiage has reached. It seems fairly succinct to me.


Thanks for that, you have made me realize that i probably need one. I will start making one
Thanks again

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I’m pretty sure you have to submit a notebook in order to have a chance of getting any awards at all other than Tournament Champions.

This is not completely true, as Robot Skills Champion falls into the same boat as Tournament Champions. In addition, engineering notebooks are not mentioned in the criteria for the Think Award, the Amaze Award, the Build Award, the Create Award, the Judges Award, the Inspire Award, or the Sportsmanship Award. Despite this not being explicitly stated, some of the criteria are:

Think Award - “Programs are cleanly written, well commented, and easy to follow”

Amaze Award - “Robot is designed and constructed to consistently execute an effective game strategy”

Build Award - “Robot is designed with attention to safety and detail”

among others. These qualities are shown to the judges in the team interview, but more prominently in your engineering notebook. It’'s important to note that the Excellence Award and the Design Award (which are the top priority judged awards) both specifically require engineering notebooks. If you want to see the full criteria for Judged Awards, I’ll link it here: Guide to Judging: Awards

So basically it’s like asking whether or not you need to have at least 6-7 motors for a competition robot. Technically the answer is no, but to be competitive you probably do.


It would be advised that you have a engineering notebook just in case because you never know what may happen. There could be judges for all I know that would like to see your notebook. And what happens if you don’t have it.

Thanks everyone, ive decided to make one my teacher wants it done by saturday! No idea how im ment to get it done by then but we will see