NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. — High school senior Rebecca Read of Lenox, Mass. has won a $60,000 Merrimack College scholarship by building the best egg flinging catapult. She is the first female winner of the contest.

Read’s catapult — which took over 30 hours to build — beat out over 20 other students by tossing her egg closest to the target — a frying pan sitting 49 feet away. Her egg landed only inches from the pan at 46.5 feet. Read will receive $15,000 per year (maximum four years) to study civil engineering at Merrimack College.

Catapult contest participants showed off their catapults’ skills at Merrimack College’s 4th Annual ThinkFEST — a festival-style hands-on engineering, science, and technology event for 6-12 grade students. Scoring was based on accuracy, design, adherence to cost restraints, and presentation.

“I entered the catapult competition because I thought it would be a great opportunity to be introduced into Merrimack College’s civil engineering program and become better acquainted with the professors and students. I felt ecstatic and I was overcome with joy when I won,” said Read. “Being the first female to win felt great!”

For more information about Merrimack College’s civil engineering department, please visit