Notebook and Judging Advice

Hi, this is my first time posting on forums but if anyone with experience or if any current/former judges would like to give input that’d be great. This year I have a new member on my team that isn’t as familiar with the whole judging and notebook creation process as I am. Is there any advice you guys could give, any tips for what to do during interview, or anything specific you are looking for? Anything is appreciated, thank you!


Welcome to the forum. There have been a wealth of threads on this topic - even just recently this one:

and this:

A google search will yield even more. Once you’ve looked those over, if you still have questions, then let us know!


Do not ever erase or mark out anything. It’s ok to show a mistake. Use a pen (it’s more professional) and describe parts of your robot in the best detail you can using pictures when and if necessary

Edit: during an interview make sure everyone talks and try to stay away from saying I, me , or my

i personally dislike this approach.

If I write a number down and end up changing it i’ll just cross it out and write the new number. with that said I do think erasing can be appropriate and I exclusively write in pencil,

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I’ve had a small amount of experience with notebook judging, and these were some of the things I remember most

Not saying your wrong though

Yeah I’ve heard that too. Only sketching with pen for me is not productive. I think its a personal choice and up to each competitor. I don’t think judges weigh pen/pencil heavily enough to say unequivocally than one is better than another and each person should use what they are most comfortable with.

With that said pencil will smear when hands brush over it so it can look messier. I suggest to my kids to use color where it’s appropriate. sprinkling your sketches with tiny details in color pencil makes things pop and draws in eyes. Also use a straight edge religiously, and take a 2D art class.


Lol do we really need multiple posts debating what kind of writing utensil is used in the notebook? Write with what makes you happy.

The biggest thing I think a lot of people forget to do in the notebook is to analyze designs and subsystems at the beginning, and that’s something that can both help you rethink design down the road and really explain to the judges why you chose the design you chose. That’s big.

Also be sure not to win the tournament. The judges might not want double quals. That shouldn’t be on of your list of favorite ideas, but it’s a good plan too. Floop.

This is the same thing I needed help with.