Interesting how many posts describe recruiting and selection activities. I read the OP’s question as more about training and onboarding. Maybe I misread it.
In any case, here’s my input on what I think is being asked:
We offer mentor-led workshops in the fall for manufacture/build, CAD, and programming. These are open to all team members, not just new members. These are held once per week for each topic. We usually get about 8-10 sessions completed between the time our team selection is done and the end of school for the year. Content is mostly on the introductory side each season. Veteran team members who attend still pick up some new things as well as build depth by helping or explaining to the novices. Participation is not a requirement for being on the team, but is strongly encouraged. Those that can’t put in the time or lose interest usually self-select out of the team sooner or later.
All students must complete safety worksheets each season. For manufacturing/build students, those must be complete before about week 4 of the fall workshops for them to continue with the workshops. For students in other disciplines, they must be complete before build season begins.
During build season, training occurs by doing. New members work with veteran members or mentors to accomplish tasks. We don’t have a big enough program to run a novice team and a veteran team.
We don’t have skill or ability tests, but new manufacturing/build students must work with a mentor when first using power tools (chop saw, band saw, table saw, drill press, mill/drill, lathe, CNC router). When they have demonstrated safe and correct operation they are then granted the ability to use these machines independently. We regularly ask students if they have questions or need help with power tools, especially if they are performing some operation which is less common.
…assigned to sub teams…
Our recruiting material includes information on sub teams and students are asked for their preferences when they apply to the team. Mentors look at counts of sub team interest for new and returning students and make a first-pass sub team assignment for each student with a goal of balancing student interest and mentor availability. If any student would not be on a sub team of high interest after this pass, we would talk to those students to get more information about their interests and provide more information about sub team options. We try to shuffle where possible and as early as possible to get the best fits.
…made part of the group…
This just happens with time. It’s amazing to see the difference between the full-team camaraderie at the fall kickoff meeting and the end-of-season celebration dinner. We don’t do anything formal like icebreaker exercises or a team outing to a ropes course or anything like that. Mentors usually ask new students to work together in different groups to help them get to know each other and build skills. Eventually, mentors try to group new and veteran students together on tasks to have more team-wide bonding and expand skills further.
I don’t expect that any of this is particularly unique or especially effective. It has worked acceptably for us given a 20-30 student team and 3-4 heavily involved mentors and another 2-4 that are occasionally involved. I’m also interested in hearing about other approaches and success or lack thereof.