The Super Mario Effect - Tricking How I built a nuclear reactor at the age of 13 | Jamie 2 days ago   15:09

TEDx Talks
When 50,000 of Mark Rober's 3 million YouTube subscribers participated in a basic coding challenge, the data all pointed to what Rober has dubbed the Super Mario Effect. The YouTube star and former NASA engineer describes how this data-backed mindset for life gamification has stuck with him along his journey, and how it impacts the ways he helps (or tricks) his viewers into learning science, engineering, and design. Mark Rober has made a career out of engineering, entertainment, and education. After completing degrees in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University and the University of Southern California, Rober joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2004. In his nine years as a NASA engineer, seven of which were on the Mars rover Curiosity team, Rober worked on both the Descent Stage (the jet pack that lowered the Rover to the surface) and some hardware on the Rover top deck for collecting samples. In 2011, Rober’s iPad-based Halloween costume helped launch both his creative costume company, Digital Dudz, and his YouTube channel, which now boasts 3 million subscribers and 400 million views. His videos focus on creative ideas and science- and engineering-based pranks and activities. Rober is a regular guest on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!". Today, he does research and development work for a large technology company in Northern California, where he lives with his wife and son. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments 2374 Comments

Joseph Ang
Mastering 👏 Physics 👏
David Talkington
This guy is much better than Bill Nye!! Plus he's much more amiable!
Life is like Super Mario. The goal isn't about collecting gold coins, that just happens along the way, the focus is to make it to the end and enjoy the experience with successes and failures along the way.
His talk was quite engaging too.
Elecrowiz GT
i've watched all videos mark showed in the projector
those poor cannon fodder LOLLLL
Sad thing is, real life can't be without risks. For some, failing during the learning process can be the last fail you ever make.
Chris Wilkins
What's the opening song tho
But didn't they get to the solution quicker if they were penalised? He skipped passed that didn't he? 2:08 And how did that mean the saw MORE success? Surely they also only saw success once?
The first problem with this gamification approach is that the rules of coding paths, to any single player game as Super Mario, are defined and simple. The rules of life are the opposite.
I think a triggering of people's fear of failure is something that should be screened when interpreting this kind of exercise.
Robotics Basics
Such an awesome talk. It is such a shame that the "coolness" of engineering and science is murdered by the schools and universities. There would be so many more people who would want to do it otherwise.
Saskia Mellows
Argh hate long intros 🙄
Sheeple Slayer
Don't take this ideal to the stock market lol
Sheeple Slayer
I think all the thumbs down came from impatience, and they didn't finish the clip.
I was mislead by the start myself, but knew better than to "know" I was right, finish the clips and go from there.
I've kept the willingness to be wrong.
Jake Britton
My idea is not to focus on the finish line, but enjoying the journey. Takes much less energy working towards success if you don't focus on how complicated or hard it might be but focus on enjoying yourself. I actually proved this works with a buddy if mine, tricked him to ride his bicycle to a air show about 35 kilometers away. Took a long time to get there, but because we were talking and taking our time we were not tired when we arrived.
Cherlyn want Kookies
I didnt knew him until now
he is a genius💜
Joseph Mack
James Atlas once wrote, “Maybe we do not all have the luxury of failing”
Tommy Z
I loved his Porch Pirate glitter bomb video!  Spot on Mark!!
hunter turner
Maybe another hypothesis is that people losing their the in game “fake points” feel that they should’ve already won the game. Giving up seems like the best option considering most of the time in games like that there are leaderboards and they get published. The point in which I give up in things is often when my learning curve takes longer than those around me and then falsely believe if I haven’t gotten it down now like most everyone else, it’s probably not for me. Looking at social media, it’s easy to see how everyone else has “won” already in weight loss, their career, their mate’s lookin’ fine! And here I stand in my own real world.
At 3:38, how funny would it have been if the PowerPoint stopped working when he dramatically says: “I’d like to tell you about a plumber I met when I was eight years old... he was Italian.” ...Then nothing else happened.
Jake Wood
Mark rober worked on the drone on mars and other projects with nasa he is a genius
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How I built a nuclear reactor at the age of 13 | Jamie The Super Mario Effect - Tricking 2 days ago   05:41

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. What does it take to build a nuclear reactor? Jamie Edwards started out on his journey at age 13 to beat Taylor Wilson’s record of being the youngest person to achieve nuclear fusion. He tells of the obstacles he faced as a young schoolboy while trying to achieve his dream, such as trying to convince his headmaster to order deuterium on ebay.

At 13 years old, Jamie Edwards attempted to become the youngest person ever to achieve nuclear fusion by colliding the nuclei of hydrogen atoms via inertial electrostatic confinement in his school lab. When Jamie told his headmaster about his plan to build the nuclear reactor and asked for funding, the reply was “Will it blow up the school?” Jamie got the funding, and rest assured, the school still stands. For his next project, Jamie – who wants to be a nuclear engineer or work in theoretical physics – has his sights on building a miniature hadron collider. He’s now 14 years old.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)