This coming year's notebook

My teammate and I have been going back and forth on this so I came to the mighty forum for your expertise. For this coming year, since many teams are working over the quarantine, would this research/info be first in the notebook as opposed to being after the game research/planning (with a note explaining the messed up ordering)?

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Y couldn’t u do game research/planning? Vex releases an appendix with every game so there’s even a way to fabricate parts. All I should need for this step is pretty much just the game manual anyways

I can only speak for my team but some of us are taking a break because this is the first time we have an off season. Some of our members are participating in the community events (Minecraft eVRC) and I am having some fun working on some pet projects since I don’t have pressure and have a fully assembled bot and field tiles with me in quarantine. Some of the stuff we did this year that we are reusing will probably be in next year’s notebook so if you want to work on something fun and useful like a display menu or sd card data storage now would be the time.

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I don’t think I made my question very clear. I am currently working on different coding aspects for the robot during the off-season, but my partner and I have come to a disagreement due to the unusual circumstances of where to record this information. My question, therefore, is should these off-season projects be recorded before the game overview or should we place it after with a note explaining why the dates are out of order?

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If it is specifically for next year, then I would probably make an entry for it, but if it’s just general practice, then just include it in an overview.

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I would be wary of doing it this way. As someone who spent a lot of time in the judging room this past season and saw many NBs / heard many NB discussions, I would recommend trying to always have your game challenge section towards the front with your robot brainstorming shortly after and then adding those “extra prelim things” after that (or later - see below). In my experience, doing it any other way adds a layer of confusion to the judges (many of whom have not done much judging and are struggling to connect the NB to the rubric) and can cause them to miss things.

For what you are talking about, I personally might put that research info in as it becomes relevant to the current robot work. For instance, when you first code the current season robot have a section on how you utilized your prior season research and off-season projects to better your understanding of xyz and how you are now using that to do abc with certain modifications.

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My suggestion (and I’ve been a judge for years) is that you have a second notebook clearly labeled “off-season projects” or something similar to record these activities, then on April 25, start a second notebook for the robotics activities, clearly following the rubric in the Judge’s guide. You’ll want a new Judge’s guide when it’s released, but it will be alot like the 2019-20 one: https://www.roboticseducation.org/documents/2019/08/judge-guide-2019-20.pdf/.

As @TeamTX mentions, it’s very important for the judges to be able to score the notebook quickly using the rubric in the Judges’ guide, so anything you do to make that scoring easier (like following the order of the rubric in your notebook) will help ensure maximum points and get you a design-award interview. You can reference information in the off-season notebook. When turning things in, you can snap both (or more) bound notebooks into a 3-ring binder to keep them all together. Alternatively, keep the off-season notebook with you in the pit and use it during your interview: the extra effort might be what you need to bump your team from a design award to an excellence award during the interview.

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