Approximately 920 fifth-graders from across San Angelo ISD filled the Murphey Performance Hall with cheers, applause and raised hands during Danny Carmo’s Mathematical Mysteries show on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. The students watched as Carmo, a “mathemagician,” performed “mathemagical” tricks in his show where “math and magic collide.”
“My favorite part of the show was the way the students lit up with excitement over every trick,” said Cameron O’Briant, Box Office Manager for the San Angelo Performing Arts Center.
Carmo’s mathemagical tricks incorporated different elements of math including probability, fractions, place value, logic-based problems and more into magic. As he introduced each mathemagic problem, the students raised their hands eager to volunteer and as he solved each problem, the students worked along with him, shouting out answers. “I was overjoyed when I saw how interactive the show was,” O’Briant said. “The students really enjoyed that Danny was in and out of the audience and spoke directly to them.”
Though Carmo always had a passion for magic, he was not always a fan of math. He said he used to believe school and, in particular, math “was not for him.” He said he dreamed of being on stage or on the big screen.
“All I ever wanted to be was a famous magician,” Carmo told the students. Once he learned the tricks of the magic trade, he realized how essential math was — it was the secret to a lot of magic. “Everything you have seen today, everything, has been achieved using math and magic,” Carmo said.
Magicians may never reveal their secrets but mathemagicians do. “Any of you can become a mathemagician,” Carmo said at the end of his show. “Would you guys like to learn to do what I do?” After a resounding yes from the students, Carmo displayed a QR code on the screen behind him which linked to a book that contained all the magic and secrets from his show. He said all of the fifth-grade teachers already had access to the book for them. “So my secrets are a gift from me to you,” Carmo said. ”And I hope that all of your sums come true.”
SAPAC is one of many community partners that provides opportunities that aid in creating an engaging, relevant and inspiring education experience for area students. Each year, SAPAC provides a few field trip opportunities for SAISD students and surrounding schools, O’Briant said. “We provide experiences that integrate the performing arts with core subjects.”