On August 22, 2015, FTC Team 8528, Rhyme Know Reason, held a workshop to help teams improve their notebook writing skills and to give them ideas on how to overcome obstacles in keeping an Engineering Notebook. Engineering or Lab Notebooks are a vital part of any engineer’s or scientist’s work. But how does this translate for use in FTC?
After winning the Think Award at two competitions last year, the team wanted to reach out to other teams to start the discussion on how to keep a good Engineering Notebook. Three teams from Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland were in attendance. After a short presentation at the beginning of the workshop, teams were encouraged to discuss the difficulties associated with keeping a notebook and how their teams overcame challenges in past years. Then the students broke up into three groups, mixing members from all the teams.
They were tasked with building a mini catapult out of a variety of different pastas, tape, and Play-Doh, with the goal of launching a mini marshmallow as far as possible. The exercise gave the students a chance to put into the practice the strategies they learned on how to make it less difficult to write in an Engineering Notebook (and have fun doing it!). Each group kept a notebook during the activity, recording things like what the challenge was, drawings of prototypes and the final design, results of tests, and so on. After testing the catapults, Team Rhyme Know Reason gave out awards like ‘Most Detailed Notebook’, ‘Farthest Shooting Catapult’, and ‘Best Example of the Design Process’.
The entire workshop was a lot of fun and they hope to hold more workshops later this year. If you are interested in talking to the team about the Engineering Notebook, email them at email@example.com.