who is Roger Frost?
Perhaps someone once asked, who is Roger Frost? He’s a writer who used to collect ideas to teach science. This web aims to record those ideas. This website indulges on technology for teaching.
Over twenty years, Roger Frost ran events explaining about technology to science 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 before everyday IT took root. So he got to learn about training : teaching science : storyboarding animation : publishing books and webs : 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 some of that software, Organic Chemistry by Roger Frost is discussed on another site.
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. Sadly, in 1985 computers only sometimes worked so there was a lot of experimenting and failure.
Chemistry was a big subject up till the eighties. Back then, when we weighed in pounds and fuelled in gallons, were the glory years. And 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 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 made it go wrong.
Frost then 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.
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 quickly turned into 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 the arts. The oldest is the artist Alex Frost at www.alexfrost.com. The other one is a copywriter in advertising whose pranks can be seen at 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 find him on facebook or linkedin links above.
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