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Engineering Notebook
& Portfolio

How to build an effective Engineering Portfolio and Notebook 

New Free/Purchasable Engineering Notebook guide :

Some suggested examples : FTC 18225 High Definition from WA stateFTC 15317 Error Code 404 Prometheus from VA state

Engineering Portfolio & Video

The most important thing when it comes to judging for FTC competitions is the Engineering Portfolio and Video or presentation, followed by performance at the time of judging.

Different formats are used by teams successfully - Document or presentation mode. It is important that the content is rich and presented as an easy read for the judges. Having pictures help communicate the information easily. Remember judges have only 5-10 minutes to review each portfolio and the aim for the team has to be to ensure their portfolio stands out.


For portfolio video - teams follow very different approaches, with the objective of making their video interesting and memorable to the judges. 


Pro tip : 

  • Spend time on creating your portfolio and presentation. Start early and not the week before competition. 

  • Show it to coaches, parents and other mentors for feedback. Check if they understood what you did the way you intended for them to understand.

  • Get your school's media team to help out with creation of video.

  • Listen to your video as many times as you can. Feel proud about it each time. Will be useful when it comes to judging.

Often, good teams feel that they do so much during the season, but the judges don't know about it.  Coaches say - it is not enough to do the work, outcomes are important, and even more is communicating it to others. The engineering notebook is the solution to this.  


Having an engineering notebook is no longer mandatory for judging. However, the effort is truly worth it. 

  • Firstly it gives a real world experience on how documentation has to be done and maintained in the real industrial world

  • Secondly for the competition, it provides an unlimited space to add content for judges to look at.

  • Thirdly - a well done notebook is a pleasure to watch when finished and gives a great feeling of accomplishment to team members

Details to include in the notebook would be Business activities, Outreach activities, Mechanical and Programming detail, and daily logs.  Refer to Game Manual 1 to know what could be included.  Check out the award requirements too. 


Pro-tips : 

  • Maintain a daily log for each sub-team when they meet. Include short summary and pictures. Will help in building the notebook later, and also be a reference to what happened. Spend last 10 minutes of each meeting doing it. One who is logging can be exempted from cleaning ;)

  • After every major event that happens, create a page about it with pictures, and add to the main section of the notebook. Keeping it for later is bad since it piles up and often important learnings are forgotten.

  • Want to win Inspire? Everything that is listed in Game Manual 1 as "could" should be read as "must".

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