The main goal for the Ritchey Science and Engineering Fair is to support science and engineering education in public schools. Students from junior high and high schools all over northern Utah are invited to compete in an academic setting where they present their findings and observations from independent research projects. Many students are awarded for their knowledge and application of the scientific method and are qualified for a chance to participate in the International Science and Engineering Fair. Categories for independent research include: Botany, Chemistry, Earth/Space Sciences, Energy/Transportation, Engineering/Computer Science, Environmental, Math/Physics/Astronomy, Medical/Health, Microbiology, Social/Behavioral, and Zoology.
Weber State has been the heart of the Ritchey Science and Engineering Fair since the mid-1950’s. The fair is named in honor of Harold W. and Helen M. Ritchey. Harold Ritchey was a scientist at heart and was the inventor of detergent motor oil in addition to owning patents in rocket propulsion, astronautics, petroleum and nuclear science. He was the chair of the board at Thiokol Chemical Company (now Northrop Grumman) from 1949-1977. The Ritchey Family Foundation continues to support the Ritchey Scholarship as well as the Harold W. and Helen H. Ritchey Northern Utah Science and Engineering Fair and the College of Science Ritchey Lecture Series.