What are judges looking for when they review an FTC team’s Engineering Portfolio? Most importantly, judges look for evidence that meets award criteria.
Make the judges’ jobs easy. Organize the team’s portfolio to focus on the awards. Use keywords from the award titles such as control, design, promoting our team, and inspiring others. Also, include a roadmap such as a table of contents, headnotes, and headings that make finding your team’s qualifications for an award simple to locate. The portfolio should be easy to read, well organized, and attractive.
While the format and ease of navigating your portfolio are important, the judges know that content is king. Judges will rely on the Engineering Portfolio’s quality to decide who wins the Think Award. Game Manual Part 1 lists the requirements for the awards. The portfolio should cover examples and narrative to cover the Think Award or any other award the team seeks to earn.
Like at a traditional event, judges are instructed only to use the information presented to them and are instructed not to follow links, etc. The only exception is for the Control Award submission, which specifically calls out a video link that will demonstrate the control features that the team wants to highlight.
Teams will have better content for their engineering portfolio if they continue to create their engineering notebook entries. Remember, the engineering portfolio should be made up of the best examples of content from the engineering notebook. Notebooks can be arranged to make it easy for the teams to find supporting content for each award.
Teams will not submit their Engineering Notebook, but Judges may ask to see specific content pages from the notebook. For example, if the portfolio and interviews are not sufficient to help answer the questions, determine which teams are most deserving of an award. Teams should quickly find specific sections in their notebook, like CAD designs or sketches, more descriptions about the design process, or outreach.
Teams should prepare and practice giving online presentations before their event!
The Engineering Portfolio rules are available in Game Manual Part 1, Section 9.3 for the 2020-2021 season.