filament updates: display problem has been isolated! [updates]
Yes so after some literal poking around I think we've isolated the problem with why the display keeps not displaying anything. Since the backlight of the display works - there's no power issues going on here. But it is only displaying a white screen which led us to realize it has to be a wiring issue:
So we first tried poking the wires the go into the slots on the arduino and realized those were completely fine. So we noticed that when pushing up against the wires on the bottom of the display itself this is the result:
Which means the wiring problem must come from the wiring on the display side itself. Now, we don't know which wires are causing the issue but we know that it is the wires over there so we might, this weekend, cut-strip, and solder all of those wires and then test the display because that may very-well solve the problem we're having.
Actually, we fixed it with a ribbon cable...
Using a raspberry pi ribbon cable we connected the display to the cable and then glued the cable to the side of the wood platform, and then we connected the cable to the arduino. That seems to work for now!