Purdue Polytechnic teacher is master prop builder

Photo of Purdue Polytechnic teacher working on props. (WISH Photo)

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.

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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.