When I taught High School woodshop over 35 years ago, I kept any required projects small because of cost. Large projects were the choice of the student or a group project with no more than 4 to the group.
Grouping seemed to work best when the students themselves decided on which 3 or 4 were to be in their group. If there were disagreements, I could say "you chose to be in that group".
Safety, safety, and more safety with high schoolers.
If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?