You should have a look a the MIKONTALOLIGHTS project. This is definitely the kind of projects that should be asked to studends. How fun!
The object of MIKONTALOLIGHTS was to create the world’s physically largest colored graphics platform by using the windows of Mikontalo’s D-staircase as light pixels. The platform was used to play Tetris and other games and present demos created by the students of Tampere University of Technology. The project climax was on December the 4th when the new lights of Mikontalo were lit. The goal was to gain global visibility for Tampere University of Technology and the rich student culture of the Uni.
Technical stuffs here: The windows of D-staircase function as individual pixels by setting LED lights inside the apartments. The light of each window is controlled with a software running on a PC and a DMX light controller. With 9 (width) x 11 (height) pixels the graphics platform is able to project both still and moving graphics.
A PC is running the Tetris game or any other software that generates a 9 x 11 array of color values. The matrix is, for instance, a GIF-image, in which case the moving animations can be done as GIF animations. The array of color values is transmitted from the PC to a DMX light controller which, for one’s part, controls all the lights behind the windows. The lights are able to produce RGB colors but we will only use about a dozen of colors to maximize the contrast. Wafer-thin papers will be installed inside the windows to make each « pixel » as evenly colored as possible. The playable games are controlled with a mobile phone over WLAN or BlueTooth.