Reedy Library Position Paper on Dat Boi

Nancy Jo Lambert

Reedy High School Library

In the Reedy Library there is a 3D printer. There are students who print to the 3D printer almost on a daily basis. Two students have been trying for weeks to successfully print a frog on a unicycle. Generally anyone is allowed to print on the 3D printer, as this printer is not necessarily for academic purposes, but a part of our makerspace (R. Kurti, D. Kurti, & Fleming, 2014). Upon the completion of the print job of the frog on the unicycle, the question arose, what is this frog on a unicycle and should students be allowed to print ?

        According to Feldman (2016), “‘Dat Boi’ is, of course, a unicycling frog. He is the central figure in a new and spectacularly impenetrable meme.” Dat Boi came onto the pop culture scene in May of 2016 in the form of a meme of which the origins are unverified. However, the origins of the image of the frog on a unicycle can in fact be traced back to a GIF, or a graphic interchange format animated image (“GIF - definition of GIF in English,” 2016) produced by the Animation Factory (2016). Feldman (2016) contends that the animated GIF was created by Josh Doohen for the Animation Factory. The image was then licensed by Dan Fullerton author of AP Physics 1 Essentials and is stated as having said, “I was working on a problem about rotation. I thought the art was interesting, and so I made the problem about that” in reference to the animated GIF of the frog on the unicycle (Feldman, 2016; MrMagDude 2016).

        The appeal of the Dat Boi is multilayered. First of all, it is noticeable that the boi part of the name is in reference to the LGBT term adopted by females who adopt a boyish look in order to appear more genderless (“boi,” n.d), thus making Dat Boi more of a gender neutral term. Secondly, in an article summarizing a month in memes Aroesti (2016) explains the ubiquitousness of Dat Boi in social media in the following:

New York magazine summed up the joke in the following way: "The frog does not look like the kind of person you'd call 'Dat Boi.' He's a frog, and he's on a unicycle. And yet, his relaxed demeanor projects the kind of imperturbable mellowness you would expect in someone called Dat Boi." Other possible factors behind the meme's appeal is its endearingly low-res appearance, and the internal rhythm of the exchange.

Lastly, on the flip side of appeal, is questioning the humor of Dat Boi. The point that can be made however is that the humor isn’t so much in the image of Dat Boi, but in the understanding of “getting the joke” (Aroesti, 2016). Having officially done the research surrounding the pop culture phenomenon of Dat Boi, the Reedy Library is solidly in the know on the joke. There will surely not be any disrespect of the memes by the Reedy Library (Liang, 2016).

In conclusion, it should be stated the production of the Dat Boi figurines on the 3D printer is allowed because the Reedy Library makerspace is built on constructivist principles as outlined below:

Constructionism, in turn, is the application of constructivist learning principles to a hands-on learning environment. Thus maker education is a branch of constructivist philosophy that views learning as a highly personal endeavor requiring the student, rather than the teacher, to initiate the learning process (R. Kurti, et al., 2014).

Since the build on the 3D printer of a frog on a unicycle has been unsuccessful multiple times by the students who designed and attempted to build him, this exercise is seen as a learning process for the students involved. Thus, the Reedy Library contends that Dat Boi is a shining example of learning from failure which happens to be a pillar in the deployment of a makerspace:

It's OK to fail. In fact, we encourage what most of society calls "failure," because in reality, it is simply the first or second or third step toward success. No amazing innovation is created on the first try. Truly paradigm-shifting technologies and devices are the outgrowth of many iterations. Thus the path to success is paved with failures  (R. Kurti, et al., 2014).

Therefore, it is the official stance of the Reedy Library that the frog on a unicycle in the context of pop culture as Dat Boi is a humorous phenomenon and the printing of a frog on a unicycle on the 3D printer is a valuable learning experience for the students involved.


Animated Clipart > Frog on Unicycle at Animation Factory. (2016). Animation Factory. Retrieved from 

Aroesti, R. (2016, Jun 08). The month in memes: Dat boi and a big-screen bow for slender man. The Guardian Retrieved from 

boi. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved September 20, 2016 from website 

Feldman, B. (2016, May 12). The Strange Journey of ‘Dat Boi,’ the Year’s Best Meme So Far. Select All. New York Magazine. Retrieved from

GIF - definition of GIF in English. (2016). Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford Dictionaries: English. Oxford. Retrieved from 

Kurti, R. S., Kurti, D. L., & Fleming, L. (2014). The philosophy of educational makerspaces: Part 1 of making an educational makerspace. Teacher Librarian, 41(5), 8+. Retrieved from 

Liang '19: Millennials and their memes: A defense. (2016, September 6). UWIRE Text, p. 1. Retrieved from 

MrMagDude. (2016, May 4). 'DAT BOI' IS FROM AP PHYSICS 1 ESSENTIALS. pg 179. Retrieved from