who is Roger Frost?

Perhaps someone once asked, who is Roger Frost? He’s a writer who used to collect ideas to teach science which this web aims to record.

Over twenty years, Roger Frost ran ICT and science training days for schools and education authorities. In between days he would write for publishers and review resources for science teaching. Quite a lot of people invited him into their school. He did what he could to enthuse people to refine how they taught. He’ll never know, but maybe it started a think that there was something useful on the computer.

This section indulges on what he was involved in – there’s a lot because since the eighties he wrote about pretty much everything made for teaching science as he tried to spread knowledge of what made science accessible. He also made some software that made science accessible. Some of that software is called Organic Chemistry by Roger Frost and is discussed on another site.

All the while he was learning about training : teaching science : designing animation : publishing : making webs : writing brochures : scripting voice-overs : making speeches : marketing : catching trains and planes and a lot about sensors.

How it began – with tongue in cheek

Roger used to teach chemistry and science just yards from where he grew up in London’s East End. Here on the front line of teaching, he took his science classes to the computer room, to experiment with ways to make some topics understood. Sadly, in 1985 computers only sometimes worked so there was a lot of experimenting and learning.

Chemistry was a big subject up till the eighties. Back then we weighed things in pounds and filled up in gallons and these were the glory years. Best of all you could do chemistry without the safety police on your back. But one day the safety police came to his school. They cleared the room of anything that might entice a pupil to take up chemistry for the wrong reason. They confiscated a stick of potassium he was saving for millennium night. They cleared the shelf and just left a bottle of rock salt – adding the label “HARMFUL if thrown”. In later years the safety police would say that this was never their intention but frankly mates, I think you CLEAPSS people were part of the issue.

Frost then mused on ways to regain the risk that made chemistry demonstrations such fun. What could one do? The answer came after using the computers at the school: if you really wanted something to blow up in your face, the school network was even better than potassium. So came the challenge to tame technology and find its potential.

Then what?

In 1988, Frost became an advisory teacher at ILECC, the Inner London Educational Computing Centre and North London Science Centre, Islington. With his background in instrumentation, and after a call from adviser John Bertram, he became interested in data logging. He collected ideas for an IT booklet he gave away to local schools. Soon school advisers were buying the booklets in bulk. So encouraged, he published a whole series of ideas booklets which quickly turned into reference works worldwide. By 1992 he was working full-time as a freelance for the education press and running training days for schools. Since then he has written brochures, manuals, adverts and had reviewed science products aplenty. He archives this at this web site where there are experiment ideas, reviews and opinions on resources. He was friendly with many suppliers but remained independent.

There’s his CV here. But then there’s his remarkable chemistry animation: after years of never finding resource for organic chemistry he developed his own. It’s called Roger Frost’s Organic Chemistry It was made in partnership with White House Business Solutions.

Does he have a life? Yup! He has two sons into the arts. The oldest is the artist Alex Frost at www.alexfrost.com. The other one is a copywriter in advertising and shows this creative streak at www.olifro.st. Roger himself can’t draw and has even lost the skill of using a pen.

Does he have fun? Roger can ski, ice-skate, dance (ceroc & modern jive), paper the wall, mend anything and get drunk on a half-pint. He loves gadgets and owns a ridiculous collection of servers, cables and power bricks. He used to do a trick where you light a beer bottle filled with butane and burn your fingers as it goes whooop. He laughed it off by saying it’s just part of growing up. Actually, he laughs most things off and he is indeed still growing up even though he is retired. He now goes on walks, dances and messes about with home automation & the Raspberry pi. You can probably find him on facebook or instagram.

He worked on dozens of school projects and wrote these books:

  • Data logging in Practice 1999 updated annually till 2005
  • Software for Science Teaching 1999 updated annually till 2005
  • Learning Highways (NCET) – the govt’s advices on using the Internet. Co-authored with Roger Blamire
  • The IT in Science book of data logging and control. ISBN 0-9520257-1-X
  • The IT in Secondary science book ISBN 0 9520257 2 8
  • Enhancing Science with IT 1994 Co-author ISBN 1 85379270 5
  • IT in Primary Science ISBN 0-9520257-3-6. Also in Dutch
  • Information Technology (Nelson), 1993 Co-author ISBN 0-17-438572-2

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