Statistics students treated to magic show


On Friday, Dec. 1, statistics students attended a magic show performed by Richard Benninghoff. Mrs. Fowler, who teaches statistics at the high school, had seen Mr. Benninghoff perform at St. John Newman and arranged for him to come to the high school.

“This man has performed all over. He has performed for the PSU football team,” explained Mrs. Fowler. “He is absolutely captivating,” she said. “The best part of his show is that he will do a trick and then explain the probability and statistics behind it. He explains to the kids that magic is about illusion and math.”

Mrs. Fowler was most appreciative of how Richard tied life lessons into his show as well.

“These students are mostly seniors; they’re going out into the world soon. So his messages about how probability and statistics pertain to the real world are so fitting.”

Mr. Pish’s statistic students attended as well.

“I was really excited about kids seeing the connections between math and magic,” said Mr. Pish.

Lauren Zangara’s favorite part was seeing Mr. Pish get involved in the show. Early on in the show, Richard explained to the students that distraction was the biggest part of magic, so the students watched very closely to try to determine how he pulled off the tricks.

“I was very impressed with his sleight of hand,” said Mackenzie Fisher. “His tricks taught me a lot about statistical probability.”

Mr. Benninghoff’s performance made students aware of how probability favors the magician. “People will believe what the magician implies is the truth; the probability of that is high, so the magicians rely on it to make their tricks appear magic,” said Annie Rosenow.