Final Report Submission
You’ve done it. You have taken your idea as far as you can for the competition. Now is the opportunity to tell everyone about your invention. The final report should be looked upon as your key conduit for being able to tell not just everyone at the competition event but future teams and even potential future sponsors of your work what you created, how you were able to do it, why you did it that way, and what would you change or do next if you could.
On this page you can gain an overview on how to approach documentation and on the resources page you can download a copy of the final report required topics, download a potential outline for your final report for you to build upon, and get all of the evaluation rubrics associated with the competition finals.
Please also make sure to review the rules page for specific information on the formatting and submission of your final report, and check out the resources page for sample final report excerpts with comments as well as writing technique information and guides.
Documentation, Writing Your Ticket to Continued Success
Documentation is important. It is the only way that you can effectively communicate your accomplishments and ensure that your work can be continued to be built upon after you have completed it or left the project. Work that is misunderstood or is unclear on how to use it or how it was achieved in the first place is typically discarded and re-done, regardless of how brilliant the original end product was.
Although conciseness is valuable in any project description, it is most important that the reader can understand what is being said. Some of the best documentation helps an uninformed reader be able to first understand the need you are trying to meet. Then the documentation helps the reader follow and understand the sequence of logical reasoning that leads the reader to the same conclusions you reached or at least helps them to be able to replicate your work.
It is important to remember that this is the first time your reader is hearing about your idea and in order to help them understand the importance of a finding or to trust how that finding was reached, you may often have to explain things in greater detail than you may initially feel is necessary. Do not “skip steps” in your explanations regardless of how much you feel you are “hand-holding” or that “the reader should know this”. It is easy to forget that the concepts that now seem second nature to you were once unheard of ideas for you as well. (Just look at your teachers, sometimes they have been doing something for so long that they forget what it’s like not to know something. You do not want to be guilty of the same mistake.)
Whether you are fully aware of it or not, you have come a long way since you began this project and your documentation should help your reader make the same journey as easily as possible, even if they are starting out slightly behind from where you started.