I still have my copy of RTL Cookbook, which taught me enough to make a Binary Counter (with 923's) as a science fair project in 1972, when I was in 7th grade. It had eight 923's to make an 8-bit counter. I wanted to use 8 LED's to show the count, but I could only get my hands on one in those days. So, I mounted it on the panel, with a wire that could be touched to each of 8 outputs, to find out what the count was. It was really dim, so I painted a green ring around it on the panel to try to increase the visual contrast.
I got a First Place in the Electronics category :-) .
The following year I made a binary adder, using TTL parts. Two sets of 4 switches to enter the number, and a row of LEDs to show the result.
Another First Place!