Engineering Notebook Helping with Basics (5x design award winner)

Hello, I am Alyssa Talavera and have been a part of my high school robotics team for 3 years. Since I am graduating next year, I would like to share some of my knowledge that I have learned as a designer. I have received 5 design awards in the last two seasons and I want to help other designers find their style or even get started. I plan on documenting this year through YouTube. Here is my first video. :slight_smile:
edit: I plan on making this a small series where I try to cover everything that I have used previously and continue to use. My next video will be going through the rubric and showing my previous notebooks. If your interested please subscribe i’m thinking of posting every other week so I don’t need to repost this topic. Thank You!


Thanks for making this. Glad that you are helping others make a better notebook! :slight_smile:


one more thing lol if you want a better form of contacting or specific help or advice, my instagram is suflowerb.b


Great Video! To add to that here is the Design award Rubric that Judges use to score notebooks. It really helps to guide teams to what they need to have in the notebook.

Design Award Rubric


Reading that rubric seems like it’ll be pretty helpful. One thing I noticed is that there is no criteria related to quality or performance of the end result, just the process by which it is achieved. I assume the same doesn’t apply for the excellence award.

From what I know for the excellence award you have to have an awesome design notebook that follows the rubric above, but you also have to be good in skills and the tournament to be considered for that award.


@Joey_24K Design award is pretty much completely irrelevant to your robot performance as you noted. Excellence Award is determined by first ranking a list of the best Design Award candidates and then choosing who from that list best fits the Excellence Award Criteria, which includes qualities such as being top ranked in Skills Challenge and Qualification Rankings.

Page 24 and on in the Judge Guide (2020-2021) describes how Judges are supposed to determine Excellence Award winners. An interesting note is that you cannot win Excellence if you are not qualified for Design (or at least you are not supposed to).


Here is the criteria for Excellence Award, as detailed in the Judge Guide (2020-2021):


While judges don’t always follow the guidelines strictly, yes, it is expected that Excellence Award winners are strong in both notebooking and robot performance.


Even though this is for VRC, but when I judged for IQ, we would select the top couple of notebooks with the highest scores and then wait for the team ranks and results to come out. Most of the time our top choice would also be the highest in the Excellence criteria. So they would be given excellence and the next notebook in line would be given design.
E: I really suggest everyone to volunteer at IQ events and help with Judging. It really helps you understand the process and even allows you to improve your own Notebooking skills. It has really helped me and my team.


In my second video I discuss why design and the notebook is important and how it correlates to Excellence Award as well as how the awards are judged.