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Machine Code Mario introduces students to binary in an innovative way. Starting with investigating why computers use binary, students explore how to represent decimal numbers in binary and then how to use this knowledge to create Super Mario courses using Super Mario Maker 2 that test the players understanding of binary representation. The design, exploration and development stages of the beginner workshop fit nicely into KS2.

However, as data representation is not in the KS2 curriculum this element would be a stretch and challenge exercise introducing binary, and therefore we recommend not attempting anything beyond the beginner’s level with primary-aged students. The intermediate workshop fits squarely into KS3, teaching students how binary shifts work, and the advanced level into GCSE, explaining how to perform binary addition and subtraction. All versions of the workshop then explore why testing is important in game design by completing alpha testing using black box and destructive testing on their courses. The intermediate version then explores how to make improvements to the courses, in addition, the advanced also explains beta testing.

Access all files here: Machine Code Mario Files

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