My daughter and I built a DeWalt-powered drill-kart (who knew?) for her 8th grade project. Much innovative use of parts from junk bicycles and hardware from Home Depot.
My students and I have been working in the (new) area of tangible displays for several years. A paper describing our current state-of-the art has been published in Vision Research. Reference/link, abstract, and sample image below.
[J19] Ferwerda, J.A. (2014) ImpastoR: a realistic surface display system. Vision Research, doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2014.10.016.
Abstract: In this paper we describe our efforts to create a surface display system that produces realistic representations of real-world surfaces. Our system, based on a desktop PC with GPU hardware, LCD display, light and position sensors, and custom graphics software, supports the photometrically accurate and visually realistic real-time simulation and display of surfaces with complex color, gloss, and textural properties in real-world lighting environments, and allows users to interact with and manipulate these virtual surfaces as naturally as if they were real ones. We explain the system design, illustrate its capabilities, describe experiments we conducted to validate its fidelity, and discuss potential applications in material appearance research and computer-aided appearance design.
Figure 1: A real painting (left), and a representation rendered by our surface display system (right). The color, gloss, and texture properties of the painting are all rendered correctly for the real scene lighting, and the appearance of the surface changes appropriately with movement of the observer or display.
In their later years, my parents Arthur and Doris Ferwerda spent many hours researching the genealogies of our families (Ferwerda and van Niekerk), and writing their memoirs. The books they created are a tribute to their forebears and a lasting gift to their descendants. PDFs of the books are attached below. Click on a cover to open/download.