Pennsylvania State University recently held a competition for Rube Goldberg machines, which undertake a simple task in an overly complex manner. For this particular challenge, each team was tasked with building a device that utilizes a complicated engineering solution to reach the end result of replacing an ordinary lightbulb with a more efficient light source.
Here, a spectator looks at the first-place winner, which is themed after the Super Mario video game series and comes complete with a castle, mushrooms, green pipes, and even an old SNES console connected to it.
Ana Medina, a member of Penn State's Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, places a component of her team's human body-themed Rube Goldberg device before the contest begins. Four teams competed in the challenge.
The team that nabbed second place chose a "Batman" theme in its complicated approach to replacing a typical lightbulb with a modern, energy-efficient type. Their solution featured visible electrical energy, such as the visible contained electrical arc in the center.