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Purdue Polytechnic teacher is master prop builder

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Purdue Polytechnic High School teacher is a master prop builder. He replicates props for collectors and some have even been in movies. Now, he’s pushing his students to take an idea from a piece of paper and build it up.

It began as a hobby for Gregg Nowling. Now, most of his time is spent in his brand new workshop with replicas from Star Trek, Knight Rider and E.T. and that’s just to name a few.

It’s anything and everything a sci-fi fan could dream of. In one corner, there is a full-sized Tardis. In another, a recreation of the Last Starfighter arcade game.

Nowling’s favorite piece is something that took him years to recreate. It’s Pee-wee’s bike, which is 100% identical to what was in the movie.

It even gained the attention of the character himself, who Nowling will get to meet and have a photoshoot with at Horrorhound Weekend in September in Indianapolis.

Nowling’s students have even helped with some of the projects. They’ve used all kinds of tools like a 3D printer, wood or PVC pipe. The longtime teacher says the best part is seeing the enjoyment on his students faces.

“I get to take what I do as a hobby and I get to make a career with this with my students at Purdue Polytechnic,” he said. “I get to show them that even though they have silly ideas on a piece of paper, we can do that and it’s possible.

Together Nowling and his students built a full-size replica of the electric chair in one of the first scenes of The Adams Family movie. The students took it to a convention and met the entire cast of the movie. Now, the chair is staying with the convention for future years.

Nowling’s pieces are so well done that he loans them out to different exhibits across the country.


How to make Apple Pie Tacos

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s dessert … in a taco shell!

Apple Pie Tacos are easy, delicious, and kids love them! 

Apple Pie Tacos

9 soft street-taco shells (see note below)
2 tablespoons raw sugar 
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, divided 
5 ROCKIT® apples, skin left on and diced
2 tablespoon raw honey 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
2 teaspoons cornstarch 
1/4 cup water, plus more
coconut whipped cream 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a plate, sprinkle raw sugar and cinnamon. Gently mix the two together. Spray both sides of the soft taco shells with nonstick cooking spray, then lightly dip both sides in the cinnamon mixture. 
2. Flip a muffin tin over. Place each cinnamon-coated soft taco shell between each of the muffin tins, so that the muffin-tin humps help the taco shell stay in place and formed. Place in the the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. 
3. To make apple filling, combine chopped apples, honey, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small saucepan. Stir cornstarch into the 1/4 cup water and add to the saucepan. Heat on medium for about 10 minutes until apples are completely softened and gooey-thick. You may need to add more water — about another 1/4 cup — as the apples cook to create a sauce-like mixture. 
4. Spoon the apple filling into each of the taco shells. Top with coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle cinnamon, or a little granola.  Enjoy immediately! 

Apple Pie Tacos (WISH Photo/Annessa Chumbley)

Note: A tortilla that’s about 3-4 inches across works great. If you need to, you can take a larger wheat tortilla, and cookie-cut it using a 3-4 inch small bowl.