Introducing: VEX Entry Points, Digital Engineering Notebooks and the REC Library!

Entry Points

I’m happy to announce Entry Points for VEX and the REC Foundation!

Designed for both Students and Adults, Entry Points are our new “one stop shop” for our growing list of resources such as Certifications, Professional Development, and Curriculum. Entry Points are geared towards novice and experienced VEX participants alike, and will be continually updated with the latest information so that the content is always relevant and appropriate.

Entry Points for adults are customized for three different groups, Coaches, Educators & Parents.

Entry Points for students support our Student-Centered philosophy to increase student knowledge and skills with ownership of how their robot is designed, built, coded, and utilized in competition.

Alternatively, head over to shortcuts.vex.com for a list of all our resourecs!


Digital Engineering Notebooks

The wait is finally over, today also marks the launch of our new Digital Engineering Notebooks for VEX Teams!

With the growing prevalence of modern computing, we become more reliant on digital documents with each passing day. With that in mind, and with full endorsement from the REC Foundation, it only made sense to us that we should allow teams to craft their Engineering Notebooks digitally. These Digital Notebooks are easily accessible, shareable, and fully optimized for use with Google Slides (available now) and Microsoft PowerPoint (coming soon).

Some of the most obvious other benefits of Digital Notebooks include:

  • It cannot be lost
  • Supports multiple, simultaneous contributors
  • Accessible to every team member and the coach at any time from anywhere
  • Searchable
  • Simplifies referencing sources online
  • Removes any stigma resulting from poor writing and drawing skills

Digital Notebooks and supplemental resources for both VRC and VIQC can be found at notebooks.vex.com


REC Library

Finally, we are also introducing the REC Library with organized articles on every aspect of VEX Competitions for Teams, Event Partners, volunteers, students, and parents. The REC Library works just like the VEX Library, with documentation, how-to articles, and support for all VEX products and software.

We can’t wait to see how teams utilize these resources moving forward! As always, if you have any feedback or suggestions, please drop it in the thread below!

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Some of the EP’s on the forum were Beta testers. Pascal and I were on the testing for the last push of this. I’m pretty excited about this for my IQ teams, it gives them a way to document without the physical notebook.

Both notebooks have the full set of legal parts to be able to use. For IQ it will be easy since we can’t cut / drill / bend them. Using it as CAD for VRC will be interesting.

Thanks to Bob and all the people at VEX that made this happen!!

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After playing around with it, my first impressions of the VRC digital engineering notebook template are quite positive! I will likely recommend this to anyone who plans on using a digital engineering notebook this season.

My only potential concern is back when I used Google Docs for my digital engineering notebook in 2015, the document start to chug and lag after about a 100 pages. 7 years later, my hope is Google Slides is able to handle 100, 200, maybe even 300 page notebooks, especially given the number of images. Could Foster or Pascal (or anyone at VEX involved in creating this) speak to if this was stress tested at a high page count?

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I built a notebook with ~300 pages (merged all three notebooks together and then duplicated it 3 times.) It works well on my elderly laptop with lots of other stuff in the background. Its easy to scroll and edit. Saves take a little time, but that is more of a reflection of my Comcast connection and streaming going on around me.

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Good to hear! Props again to VEX on creating an excellent resource.

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Unless you accidentally enable OneDrive and that loses it for you

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Finally, a way for me to do notebook in a way that counteracts my “hieroglyphic” handwriting.

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This was one of the selling points for and other EPs at the EP Summit - this tool allows more team members to express their ideas in the team’s engineering notebook without worry of penmanship, or ability to draw or use CAD. It all team members to contribute to the team’s memorializing their journey while apart. Will Judges favor these notebooks more than others, absolutely not. They will, however, appreciate that there is more expression by teams.

There are a lot of other tools you can use. What I like about this is that there are scale graphics in the parts notebook you can use in other digital documents without having to use CAD tool.

Good luck to teams this season! Foster and I had a blast previewing and giving feedback this month. All part of design process. Thanks Bob and his team for embarking on this endeavor!

Do note, if there are parts missing, or more details needed, send feedback to the email address provided in the notebook. The template is a living document - so do check to see if has been updated (especially the parts notebook (if memory serves me correctly, no pneumatics currently… – oops we dont use them here so sorry for not catching it…)

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Will there be a penalty introduced for not using this template as part of a DEN, similar to how there used to be a penalty for using an unbound notebook?

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There is no rules against this.

Please read the Judges Guide and rubric …

This is one of many options teams have.

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It’s funny you should say that, because if you were to “please read” my question again, you could see that I am asking if the policy will change in the future, not what it is now. The GDC can hardly keep the current rules written down, I think we can cut them a little slack about not having future policies published before they exist.

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Nobody cares what you use for your DEN, have at any method you want. The EDEN tool is a full feature DEN manager.

Unlikely they will specify teams must use the VEX templates, according to the EP Meeting in July. I’ll battle that one out.

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Will you still get the extra 5 points for handwriting it though?

Here’s a copy of the Judges guide: https://www.roboticseducation.org/documents/2019/08/judge-guide.pdf/

Page 31 on the pdf is the rubric against which your notebook is evaluated. You will find all the “points” you can earn in the rubric.

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I am excited that this is finally here!! Our team has been using google slides, and I see other people asking the same question, but I still can’t figure it out. Will we lose points if we don’t use this format? We already have made our journal, and formatted it to our liking. We can switch to this, but it is not preferred. Thanks!

If you take a photo of each slide as you complete them and replace the slide with the photo of that slide, you will have a lot less objects on your slideshow, leading to less lag.

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no format is given preference or advantage
over another

Bottom of page 29. Thanks!

I couldn’t find this when I looked earlier.

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trying to get the format, says access denied, what do I do?

can you provide more details on this issue?

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