Engineering Notebook Competition

A prize will be awarded at the National Finals to a team that skillfully crafts an engineering notebook that documents their design cycle for the American Rocketry Challenge. Every team is eligible to submit an engineering notebook and win this prize, regardless of whether it is selected for the Finals.

Engineering notebooks are used by aerospace engineers, research institutions, government laboratories and many other organizations. A good engineering notebook details the entirety of an engineering project, from the initial concept designs to the fully operational system. A well designed notebook should allow a person familiar with the contest and rocketry to follow your design process from beginning to end and successfully reproduce a copy of your rocket at any stage in your design cycle. The notebook should be a running record of your design process, compiled as you go through the design process rather than retrospectively.

In some cases the settlement of an intellectual property dispute may come down to the records contained in an engineering notebook. As a result, engineers don’t ever white-out material in their notebook or remove pages. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it. Simply place a single line through the error and continue below. Likewise, when you finish an entry place a large X on the remainder of the page to prevent new content from being added to the notebook after the fact. While we don’t expect any of your rockets to get embroiled in a patent dispute, we still want you to practice the standards used within the aerospace industry. They may come in handy some day!

The rules and guidelines for this competition were created to closely match how professional engineering notebooks are created. Even if your team chooses not submit a notebook for the Engineering Notebook Competition, we still recommend you keep a notebook and follow this structure. It will help your team order your thoughts and be deliberate about your design process.

Notebooks will be evaluated by a panel of engineers from sponsor companies.

Remember: document your work, keep your notebook organized, keep it professional, and have fun on your mission!

The rules and guidelines for this competition were created to closely match how professional engineering notebooks are created. Even if your team chooses not submit a notebook for the Engineering Notebook Competition, we still recommend you keep a notebook and follow this structure. It will help your team order your thoughts and be deliberate about your design process.

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