Machine Code Mario

Subjects: Maths
Key Stages: KS2 KS3


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.

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.

If you have any questions about the workshop, please get in touch with the team:

Guidance for teachers

Suitable for: Key stage 2 (KS2), key stage 3 (KS3), key stage 4 (KS4)

Our resources are created with you and your students in mind. Not only are they outside-the-box, creative and brain-boosting fun, but we always ensure our content stays relevant. Our network of academic masterminds and video games practitioners enable us to keep delivering free content that is aligned to the UK computing curriculum and that is relevant to current industry best practice. We think you're going to love our play-based approach to Computer Science. We've even got the evidence to prove it. 

Download your lesson resources at the bottom of the page. If you're a Lead Teacher of a certified Schoolhouse, you can access the adaptable resources by logging in.

Guidance for parents & carers

Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of the Machine Code Mario follow-along workshops below. Please note, these are live recordings. Sit back, relax and supervise or participate as a family.

Part 1 - no technology required!

Suitable for ages 7-16 years. Discover how computers use switches to represent numbers, and we'll explore how to represent decimal numbers in binary.

What do you need to take part?

  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Printed copy of our worksheets or paper (download below)

What do you learn?

  • Why computers use binary
  • Binary representation of denary (decimal numbers)

Part 2

Suitable for ages 7-16 years. Following Part 1, this workshop will teach you how to create a Super Mario level that requires an understanding of binary in order to pass it.

What do you need to take part?

  • Nintendo Switch
  • Super Mario Maker 2
  • Printed copy of our worksheets or paper
  • Coloured pens or pencils

What do you learn?

  • How to plan the design of a computer game level 
  • Different types of testing 


Machine Code Mario Workshop Pack

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