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Caltech Creativity Shines on Ditch Day

Ditch Day has been celebrated by Caltech students for more than 100 years. An annual tradition in which seniors "ditch" school for the day, leaving behind puzzles and elaborate challenges called "stacks" for underclass students to solve, this year's event embodied ingenuity, creativity, and a uniquely Caltech style of fun.

In the modern iteration of Ditch Day, seniors have shifted away from creating near-impossible challenges, opting instead to design elaborately-themed experiences. Among 32 stacks this year, nearly all involved a theme inspired by pop culture and combined traditional puzzles with activities as wide ranging as drone flying, tarot card reading, go-kart racing, and even a Bollywood dance class. Themes for this year's stacks included TV shows such as Mythbusters, The Mandalorian, Arcane, The Boys, The Magic School Bus, and anime Hunter x Hunter; the Pixar movies Cars, WALL-E, and Up, as well as The Matrix, Harry Potter, and Dune film series. Also represented were video games Portal, Overcooked, Bloons Tower Defense, and Minecraft; and general themes like "A Guided Tour of India," "Rocks," and "Time Travel."

Written by Julia Ehlert