Engineering Notebook/interviews method


In the region that I compete in, the design awards are awarded in a very strange manner. The judges only randomly select a few notebooks, and award the Design Award based on those they select. Most notebooks are just ignored (like ours, even though we worked very hard on such a notebook). I want to know if that happens normally, and is there anything I can do about this unfair method, as it doesn’t provide a thorough examination of most of the competitors’ design thought process.

On my opinion, I say that what they are doing is wrong. They should collect every single notebook from every team so they don’t get ignored. At my region, they take every single one, and when you see a judge, you should go talk to them about why they won’t take your notebook. They shouldn’t do that.

Thanks for your reply. I do have one question though. My team’s coaches are telling me that they are reading all the notebooks and doing select interviews based on the notebooks they read. Is that the right thing to do?

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yeah. They should be interviewing each team (about three should be there) and they would ask you how you made what and how did this work and stuff.

Oh yeah, I’m in the same region as you.
Last year they were interviewing every team, but this year they only interviewed a select few. Are they supposed to interview everyone, because if they don’t I don’t think that gives everyone a fair chance at getting the design award?
Also, another team at our school has practically the same engineering notebook as us, and they conducted an interview for that team twice this season, and we haven’t even gotten one. We thought “maybe we just have to get into finals”. We did and they didn’t give us an interview.
Are any of these rules in the game manual or something? I don’t believe I saw anything relating to this at all.

All the requirements are in the Guide to Judging:

Yes, every team should get the opportunity of an interview (sometimes team refuse to be interviewed, or don’t come to an interview appointment, but that is on the team). If the proper procedures are not being followed, this is a serious allegation and you should have your mentor/coach contact the event’s EP along with your team’s TEM and/or EEM. If the event you attended is an official qualification event (not just a scrimmage), then the EP and Judge Advisors are required to be certified, and the EP has signed a Commitment to Excellence.

Notebook procedures are in the Guide to Judging. In a nutshell, the judges will review all the notebooks and typically set aside about half of them (depending on the quality of the notebooks) as “developing” notebooks. In other words, it will be pretty obvious that these “developing” notebooks will not earn any awards.

Further work about this issue is best discussed with your mentor/coach, the EP, and RECF. Since nobody on this thread is even aware of the Guide to Judging, you need to escalate this through official channels, rather than on the vexforum.


Does the quality of the notebook matter for the interview?

To receive an interview, No. All teams are interviewed. Several awards don’t require any notebook (review the judges guide in the link above to see the various criteria).


Thanks so much this is actually so helpful
I didn’t know the Guide to Judging existed so thank you for bringing it up
Imma read that over and check with my mentors, thank you!


Either the judges are bad judges, or they already read every notebook and didn’t feel you met criteria for any awards so didn’t bother to interview you.

But they still have to according to the Guide to Judging. (They might have thought that but the quality doesn’t matter :slight_smile: )

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Certain judges look for certain things in a notebook. When they flip to a page and they read it and they like it, they move the notebook on. Some judges have a personal stance on what is a “good” notebook. There’s nothing to do but just keep trying on your notebook and interviews and try your best at every tournament! :smiley:

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Just wanted to let you guys know (since I’m in the same region as the OP) that the last competition I went to (ofc with the OP) they were able to interview every team so I think they were able to fix it!