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General Information
Years in SO 4
Current Team Socorro High School
Past Team(s) Sarracino Middle School
State NM
Division C
Total medals 22
Regional medals 9
State medals 13
Competitor Info
Competitons attended 8
Regionals attended 4
States attended 4
Events competed in 20

RiverWalker88 is a member of the Socorro High School Science Olympiad team in New Mexico. He has so far competed in Science Olympiad for 4 years, and plans to continue competing for as long as he can. RiverWalker88 is the Tournament Coordinator for the Socorro High Invitational. Despite only competing for two more years, RiverWalker88 will probably continue working with Science Olympiad for the foreseeable future (or at least, the semi-foreseeable future). RiverWalker88 is really glad to have joined the forums and become part of the amazing network that is Science Olympiad!

NMRiverWalker88 competes in New Mexico.

Events & Placements

This section contains a list of my events, how I prepared for them, how I placed, and a summary (a long summary in some cases) of the event that year.

Events & Placements
Year Type Event Regionals State Comments
2016 Main Events Bridge Building 2nd UK

We had one of the only curve designs I saw at all, and did pretty good at regionals. But, our state model was measured wrong and we had our bridge sitting on a support beam only. Oops...

Crave the Wave UK CN

Still my first year, so I wasn't sure what I was really doing. Had some fun with this event, though, so that's all that matters.

Reach for the Stars UK UK

As a first year Science Olympiad student, I had no idea how important the rules were, and I studied the Solar System. I think I got one question on luminosity right. It was still a good year, though, I enjoyed the event despite not doing it the right way.

Road Scholar UK UK

We did okay in this one, we got some stuff right, some not. A good start to Science Olympiad, I would say.

"Thrown-in" Events Air Trajectory N/A UK

We made a really good device for this event, but I wasn't on my game that afternoon for State, and didn't know how to operate the machine or how the event was supposed to run. Suffice to say, our team probably lost a medal from the lack of operating skill, but really, I think the two of us did pretty well for not knowing a single thing about the event or the device.

2018 Main Events Mystery Architecture UK 7th

This was fun. At regionals, we had to build a bridge that held n amount of juice boxes. We had fun trying to figure this out, but apparently didn't think of the best solution. At state, we needed to build a tower entirely out of copy paper that was at least 4 feet tall and could hold a cup with a coin the longest. This was really fun, and we had a good design. The last 5 minutes of construction, we weren't allowed to talk to simulate a real engineering situation where nobody can hear each other. During this time, our tower collapsed, and we rebuilt the entire thing in less than three minutes. We lost a decent few points from the amount of paper we used, but we were one of the few that actually built the tower. Our cup stayed on the initial minute, but the tower fell over when the air conditioning kicked on (unfortunately). This has been one of my favorite events, and it was run really well.

Potions & Poisons 3rd 7th

Another favorite event. I spent a lot of time understanding the poisons in depth and didn't do so well on the potions part, but this event was really fun at both regional and state level.

Roller Coaster 3rd UK

This was another really fun event. We had a full size roller coaster that had cardboard tracks around the sides. We never got around to making it time-adjustable (despite working on this the most of all of my events), but we managed to get lucky and hit the time right on the dot at both regionals and state. Sadly, at state, our roller coaster was half a centimeter too large, which was not caught at regionals, and we got tiered. We surely would have medalled, but it was a good lesson. I really enjoyed this event.

Solar System NR 3rd!!

Space Science is amazing!! Sadly, this event was cancelled at the regional tournament, so I couldn't do it, but at state, it went really well. The most vibrant memory I have of this event is calculating the amount of time it takes light to reach Pluto using only Fermi Question estimates (our cheat sheet didn't have any numbers...). I was kind of off, but partial credit did us wonders there, I think. The rest of the exam I remember going well, and it resulted in my first top 3 medal at state!! That was really exciting.

"Thrown-in" Events Herpetology N/A 7th

This event has quite a story... At state, our Herpetology team was the same team that our WIDI team was. The two events wound up conflicting (you never know for New Mexico until about 2 weeks before), and the team decided to go to WIDI. So, I wound up in that event with someone else. When we first got into the event, we had no idea that you were only allowed a binder or a field guide, so we had brought both. The event supervisor asked us to choose which one we wanted, and without even blinking, much less asking me, my partner handed the supervisor the binder (I figured the binder would have been more helpful, but his thought process was that the field guide had more information. Reasonable thought process).

After that, the event supervisor had told everyone very clearly, "Do NOT touch the cages."

The event was set up as stations, and we were struggling, literally guessing at everything we didn't find. We didn't even have the Organism Classification Ranks memorized. During the event, we were at a station with a little lizard (1-2 inches long) in a cage. I had carried the field guide over, so I set it on my right side, and my partner was on my left. We knew nothing about the lizard, so he reached for the field guide (which was on the other side of the table) a little too quickly and knocked the lizard cage off of the table! The lid of the cage fell off when the cage hit the floor and the lizard escaped. My partner and I jumped back from the table while two volunteers jumped underneath the table to try to catch the lizard before it escaped. We must have apologized to the event supervisor 15 times after that.

In the end, we somehow managed to get 7th in the event, despite knowing nothing and knocking a cage off the table.

Microbe Mission UK N/A

My partner and I knew nothing about this event to say the least (you might notice, we were thrown into it at regionals). But, because Science Olympiad is naturally fun, we enjoyed throwing random stuff off of the cheat sheet onto the 97% of questions we didn't know and hoping for the best.

2019 Main Events Astronomy 1st 6th

Spent my most time and effort into this event. I did pretty good, considering I was a freshman. The two of us did pretty good, although I didn't work with them much, so we could have done better. All in all, a pretty good start to my astro addiction.

Circuit Lab N/A 5th

This wasn't technically a main event of mine. I was in and out of it all season. But, in the end, I went to it in state and we did really well. We struggled on the hands-on section (all of the wires were frayed and bent, so they didn't fit in the breadboards, not to mention we had some trouble figuring out the stations themselves), but did pretty well on the test and wound up in 5th place (best of this season!). And, to top it all off, we had some fun in this event.

Codybusters 1st UK

At regionals, we did really good. We did excellent on the ciphers and got the timed question first in a pretty short amount of time (nothing sub 2 minute, though). This went really well for us. At state, on the other hand, we did not great. We brought in a scientific calculator (it is all we had at the base, and we forgot about the calculator rule) and had to turn it in. However, we showed up toward the end of the 10 minute break, and several teams before us that had brought scientific calculators were given a simple calculator by the event supervisor, putting us on uneven playing ground. Then, we couldn't solve the timed question, I forgot how to do the hill cipher, and we wound performing terribly, only doing 7 ciphers or so in total.

Fermi Questions 5th CN

This event was fun, but difficult for us. In the end, we did alright, but not a spectacular performance (as shown by our score). Sadly, this conflicted with astro as state, and I could not do it.

Secondary Events Experimental Design N/A 7th

Pretty good. Basic experiment (paper towel soakage), but we wasted a little too much time measuring mass (even though we wound up using absorption volume) and were rushed (well, more rushed than normal) to finish the report. 7th is pretty good, considering.

"Thrown-in" Events Fossils 3rd N/A

Yes, throwing someone who hasn't done any ID into an ID event is as bad as it sounds. I just nodded the whole time, having no idea what was going on.

2020 Main Events Astronomy 4th 5th

The top event, astronomy is. This was not demonstrated at regionals where the entire test took up one page, was 18 questions long, all simple short answer (I didn't even turn ON our calculator), that we finished in 15 minutes. We probably got one question wrong, which would have costed us three places. I am disappointed with that exam, it was not a challenge, just had one weirdly worded trivia question that stumped us. State was a much different story. It was an excellent exam, maybe on the short side at worst. It required thinking and application, and wasn't just a trivia quiz. I am mostly just disappointed that there wasn't a single DSO ID question this entire year (state had applied DSO stuff, but you didn't need to know anything about the DSOs themselves).

Circuit Lab 1st 6th

Good event overall. Regionals probably had a much better topic coverage that state, but was pretty simple, and copied from last year exactly. One memorable question was a question that asked for total resistance of resistors in parallel, but there was a wire in parallel too, resulting in a short circuit. Had to write a paragraph explaining our reasoning because the ES didn't appear to understand our question when we asked him if that was a mistake, he just gave a lecture to everyone about resistors in parallel. At state, we didn't have our best performance. It covered a lot of AC stuff and other random things that we didn't study at all (hardly touched DC, and there was almost no circuit analysis), and had a lab that we didn't do that well on. The 6th was a huge surprise given how bad we did overall, nobody must have known what they were doing either.

Detector Building UK 6th(CN)

This event was one I was excited for, although I was a little bit disappointed to see that we were measuring temperature (temperature is so typical, but probably best given that it was a brand new event). I spent a lot of time preparing for it throughout the season, and the morning of regionals, our coach made us read the rules again. Well, it appears that my competition ready brain was unable to properly read the rules, and we read a MAXIMUM of 30cm wires. This resulted in us cutting the wires to our detector and getting tiered (oops). We would have certainly done much better had we not read the rules again that morning. The event went well otherwise, with the surprise of the event supervisors using the exact example test posted by NSO for this event.

State, from what I hear, was another story. I couldn't go (conflicted with astronomy, which was NOT a fun thing to find out 1.5 weeks before state), but it sounded like a complete disaster from my partner's recounting. It involved the event supervisor pouring the water and measuring it with THEIR thermometer, and then calling up all of the teams to test their detector WITHOUT measuring the temperature with the team's thermometer OR their own again. So, the water was just cooling as teams went up, and the wrongly calibrated detectors were being tested in undetermined temperature water. So, that would make state a complete disaster (and we forgot to arbitrate, so the event was counted in the final score too). Oh well, it was worth making the device anyway. Hopefully the supervisor READS THE RULES next year.

Machines 1st 5th

This event was really fun. I really like mechanics and simple machines. At regionals, though, we had done minimal testing with our device, and in the heat of the competition, forgot how to calculate the mass ratio (oops...), so we spend four minutes, and only measured one mass (and forgot to enter the other mass...). We managed 1st because the test was a breeze, with no complex problems whatsoever (just one trivia screw thing that tripped us up a little). So, by state, we had practiced and were ready to shine. We did really good on the mass calculation, but the test, which is normally a big factor, was a bit of a joke. It was 5 simple questions. We had to argue with the ES about what "spanning the mass range" meant, and she measured "four charts" as "four columns" in each chart (which, luckily, we had). But, I still would do the event again, even run the same way, this is one of my favorites.

Secondary Events Experimental Design 1st 7th

This year, we made a good team. At regionals, we had some fun with a paper airplane experiment (and listing 10+ control variables because we all the time in the world). At state, we did a good viscometer lab, although waiting for a BB to drop through 100% glycerol solution takes about 5 minutes, which wasted a lot of time. We wound up not seeing our analysis page until two minutes before time, so we did all of the CERs in about a minute (which is probably what resulted in the 7th...). But this was an excellent experimental design team! Can't wait for next year!

"Thrown-in" Events Designer Genes N/A 2nd

This is a parasite event for sure. I answered two semi-time-consuming questions about punnett squares while my partner carried the other 75+ questions.

UK = Unknown, CN = Conflict, NR = Event was not run, N/A = Did not compete, nor intend to compete in this event.

Test Writing

Mainly Pseudonats and SSSS. Soon, I will be able to justify posting a list of tests I have written here, but for now, just a line of text will have to do.


Lemonism is an art movement involving the inclusion of lemons in one's art. RiverWalker88 is a lemonist forever, and is one of the co-founders of lemonism.

🍋Lemonism Forever!🍋


Astronomy is a PHYSICAL SCIENCE.

Outside Science Olympiad

Other Extracurricular Activities and Sports

  • FIRST Tech Challenge: Team co-captain, head programmer, and self-declared head of physics. Motivate Award winner at NM FTC state competition.
  • Supercomputing Challenge: This NM only computational modelling challenge has an excellent place. We've done two projects so far, one on desalination via mangrove-mimicking filter membranes, and one on predictive policing in the City of Albuquerque (although it could have been applied to other cities) utilizing unbiased past data (making sure to emphasize, predictive policing is a tool, NOT and guaranteed correct algorithm, and going into the possible ethical concerns it has). Third place overall on Project CO-OP!
  • SHS Swimming (Go Warriors!): 100 Fly, 100 Back, 500 Free, 200 Free, 200 Freestyle and Medley (Backstroke leg) Relays mainly.
  • Copy Editor and Writer in The Blue and White (Which died a second time last year, we're going to try to revive it again this year)
  • National Honor Society (This kind of fits here)


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Testing--Ignore This

Test DSO
Constellation Over There
Coordinates 1,1,1,1,1,1
Distance 1 meter
Apparent Magnitude 8
Absolute Magnitude 9
Description/Notable Features
This DSO is a test. Please ignore it.
External Links
Something Linky