Each team is required to keep a journal that captures the iterative design process and development of their machine. Teams should articulate in their journal how they have used the Engineering Design Process to identify a problem and design a solution to address it. In doing so, teams should document the things they tried that did not work and why aspects of the machine may have changed over time. All of this is part of the Engineering Design Process.
There is no predetermined journal format, however, the final journal should be able to be submitted digitally as a PDF. Journals will be submitted prior to the competition at the direction of the contest organizer.
The Team Journal must contain and clearly identify the following information. It should be well organized so judges can easily find and review all components.
- Planned Machine Design Sketch and Description | Sketch of planned machine with clearly articulated description of planned machine including labeled components with technical details (i.e. anticipated transfers of energy, directions of force, materials, etc.). This is the team’s original plan, prior to building.
- Final (or Near Final) Machine Design Drawing/Image and Description | Drawing or image of final machine with clearly articulated description of machine and labeled components with technical details (i.e. observed transfers of energy, directions of force, pertinent material specs, electrical details, etc.).
- List of Machine Steps | Clearly describe and number machine steps. Advanced Component steps clearly identified.
- Cost of Machine and Percent of Recycled Materials Used | Complete itemization and calculations of machine cost and percent of recycled materials provided.
- Applied STEM Processes | Documentation (i.e. sketches, images, etc.) of four or more applied STEM processes with clear details provided (i.e. labels on sketched/images, arrows indicating direction of motion/force, written explanations, etc.). For Senior Division teams, this section should include the Advanced Components.
- Reflection (1-page maximum length, 11 point minimum font)| Reflection highlighting learning or growth (i.e. hard or soft skills, knowledge, etc.) from start to end of build and connection to future application (i.e. future classes, projects, career, life). Three or more major successes/challenges identified with clear details. Reflections more than 1-page will result in a 10-point penalty.
- Bibliography | Four or more credible references listed with clear relevance to technical aspects of project.
Refer to the Team Journal Score Sheet found later in this document for scoring details.