There are so many amazing collaborative engineering activities out there, but they are in different formats and scattered on so many different sites. I've created slideshow that are ready to use with students. Most of these can be modified to work with any grade level, however, I've listed the grade levels I typically use them with.
Calendar STEM - Challenges themed to the months and holidays for August to May
90 Collaborative Engineering Activities - An awesome list of ideas if you'd like to create your own slideshows or engineering projects. Some activities are harder than others, but some can work with as low as first grade.
Collaborative Engineering X3 - In this set, I had students stay in the same team for 3 weeks and complete related challenges during those weeks. I explained that it was important to reflect on what went well and what didn't and improve from week to week. Students didn't like it at first, but they ended up forming some awesome connections by the end! Some activities are harder than others - works with grade 1 and up.
Teacher Tips for Getting the Most Out of Engineering!
Establishing roles or guidelines when completing engineering activities can help them be more successful. An example of this is dividing materials equally between students (using color coding or separate bags of materials). Students are only allowed to touch their materials, so everyone gets to help with building. Check out these roles posters for some more ideas!
How to Ask for Help
I want students to advocate for themselves and be problem solvers, so I teach them ways to solve their problems throughout the course and then establish a "three before me" rule. Meaning, they need to try to solve their problem 3 times before asking for teacher intervention. I use this Wheel of Choices board to help remind them.
Reflect on Learning
You may want to have students reflect on their collaborative engineering in order to improve how they work together and communicate, as well as how to better utilize materials and create better projects. There are a ton of reflections out there. You could have something simple reflection or something more mapped out like from Get Caught Engineering.