Div I, Div III, Div III—It is critical to teach your team to listen to each other. Practicing positions for each kid can help with this skill. Rotate the jobs so each gets a chance and determine the best fit. Here are the basic roles—adjust as needed according to your team makeup, age, and number. My comments on which works best is just my opinion—do what works best for you. Again, age and experience improves this concept.
One is a reader/timer (a very significant role that most do not want–perhaps the achiever kid or detail oriented one who likes organization), two/three builders (note that not everyone builds…too many hands in the pot… unless time is running out…), one/two project managers make sure everyone gives input, summarize the ideas and makes a decision if there are mixed opinions. One person who keeps an eye on materials to make sure not all of the glue/tape is used up until all done building, for example.
My thoughts on why this works. The project manager is typically for the kid who can keep things going–often gets how to solve the problem but wants to be in everything. Now, by making him loosely in charge, he can no longer build—he is the supervisor—and this slows him down a bit. The reader goes to work on reading the problem and keeping the team on the right track. Two to three builders avoid the chaos of all materials used on three projects, not one. By getting rid of the ‘everyone build for himself’ they will see how this can work better.
Div II, Div III, Competitive—Place materials that may not matter to what you are doing to get them used to not necessarily using all for the materials. Careful–coach them to examine each material critically to determine if it is useful for the problem.