who is Roger Frost?

In case someone once asked ‘who is Roger Frost’ he’s a writer who collected ideas to teach science which this web aims to record.

Many of the articles on this site introduce technology to schools. Today his efforts focus on using similar technology at home.

Over twenty years, Roger Frost ran events explaining about technology to teachers in schools. Quite a lot of people invited him into their school to do that. In between days he would write for publishers and review resources for teaching. The aim was to enthuse people to refine how they taught. It started a think that there was something useful on the computer. Eventually IT took root in school life.

Over those years he got to learn about training : teaching science : making animation : publishing books : writing brochures : scripting voice-overs : making speeches : marketing : catching trains and planes and a great deal about sensors.

There’s a lot on this site because from 1988 to 2018 Frost wrote about pretty much everything made for teaching science, spreading knowledge about what made science accessible. He also made software that made science accessible – and Organic Chemistry by Roger Frost does that for chemistry.

How it began, sort of

Roger Frost 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. Back in 1985 computers only sometimes worked so there was a lot of experimenting and failure was common.

if you really wanted a lesson to blow up in your face, the school network was better than potassium.

Chemistry was a big subject up till the eighties when we weighed in pounds and fuelled in gallons. Those were its glory years. You could teach 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 tempt 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 the CLEAPSS people helped to make it go woke.

Frost mused on ways to regain the ‘risk’ that made chemistry experiments such fun. What could one do? The answer came after using the awful computers at 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 a school adviser 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 a booklet he gave to local schools. Soon school advisers were buying the booklets in bulk. So encouraged, he published a whole series of ideas booklets which became reference works worldwide. By 1992 he was working full-time as a freelance for the education press and running events in schools. Since then he has written brochures, manuals, adverts and reviewed science products aplenty. Here on this web site are the resulting experiment ideas and opinions about resources. His CV is here.

But then there’s his remarkable chemistry animation. After years of never finding any help for teaching organic chemistry he developed some. It’s called Roger Frost’s Organic Chemistry It was made in partnership with his friends at White House Business Solutions.

Does he have a life? Yup! He has two sons into art. Roger himself can’t draw and has lost the skill of using a pen. The oldest son is the artist Dr Alex Frost at www.alexfrost.com. The other one is an advertising copywriter and a social media prankster at www.olifro.st.

Does he have fun? Roger can ski, ice-skate, dance ceroc & modern jive, paper the wall, program chips, automate the home 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 find him on facebook or linkedin links above. To get in touch you may write a ‘comment’ – it won’t be published as you’re just saying hi.

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

  • Data logging in Practice 1999 updated till 2005. ISBN 0-9520257-4-4
  • Software for Science Teaching 1999 updated annually till 2005
  • Learning Highways (NCET) – the govt’s advice on using the Internet, co-author 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

Home & work history

  • Somerford Street, Whitechapel, E1 London – 12 years
  • St Dominic’s Priory, Cuffley, Herts – pupil
  • Old Montague Street, Whitechapel, E1, London – 8 years
  • Central Foundation School, Shoreditch, London – pupil
  • Mile End Hospital, E1, London – lab scientist – 3 years
  • Hackney Hospital, E8, London – lab scientist – 7 years
  • Forburg Road, Hackney, N16, London – home – 3 years
  • Mile End, Bow, E3, London – home – 3 years
  • Dalston Mount School, E9, London – teacher – 3 years
  • Sir John Cass’ School, Stepney, E1, London – teacher – 3 years
  • Homerton, E8, London – home & work – 16 years

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