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New Zealand Christmas Tree (Pohutakawa)   

  John Dunlop

I am married to Lilian, maker of starry ties, mother and wife extraordinaire, now teacher in charge of English at Rangiora New Life School. We honour God as head of our household. Our children – Hannah (21) and David (19) study at Canterbury University. We attended the Royal Oak Baptist Church in Auckland for about 20 years. Lilian was the overseas missions coordinator there until 2002. We hosted a weekly bible study and fellowship group in our home for several years. We now attend Spreydon Baptist Church ( )

I attended Middleton Grange School in Christchurch, New Zealand, where my father was Principal for 15 years ( ).
I completed a Forestry degree at
Canterbury University in 1975, followed by teacher training at Auckland Teacher’s College  in 1976.
About 1985 I completed a Horticulture unit at Massey University.
In 1999 I completed an M.Ed. degree at the University of Auckland. My thesis about children’s astronomical ideas attempted to measure the effectiveness of the teaching at  Auckland Observatory, and highlighted the many misconceptions about astronomy held by both children and adults. A paper based on this is at

Between 1977 and 1994 I taught various combinations of high school Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Forestry, Horticulture and Landscaping at Tokoroa High School, Mt Albert Grammar School, Papakura High School, Mt Roskill Grammar School, and Otahuhu College, all in the North Island of New Zealand.

In 1995 I was awarded a one-year Royal Society Science and Technology Teacher Fellowship, based at Auckland University Physics Dept and the Auckland Observatory. During this time I helped write the first Learning Experiences Outside The Classroom (LEOTC) government contract for the Auckland Observatory.
Between 1996 and 2002 I was the Information and Senior Education Officer at Auckland Observatory, now known as the Stardome - - where each year about 30,000 students, teachers and parents participate in LEOTC programs. I also managed the Observatory public evening programs for six months.

During 2003 I toured the world with my family. See for some details.
In 2004 and 2005 I taught Science, Chemistry and Biology at Middleton Grange School in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Between November 2005 and February 2006 I researched and wrote for the "Hubble - Images of the Universe" exhibition at Science Alive - the NZ Science Centre in Christchurch - I then became a virtual teacher at Learnz - before grabbing the oopportunity to work in the Edmund Hillary Center at Mount Cook Village as a theatre and astronomy guide - After two years teaching at Verdon College in Invercargill we returned to Christchurch where we still live. I currently operate "John's Home Services" where I install TV aerials, cables etc in folks houses and run data cables in commercial premises.

While at the Observatory I was frequently interviewed by radio, television and print media including the New Zealand Herald, New Zealand TV1 and TV3 News, Breakfast and Good Morning shows, CNN, Radio New Zealand, Radio Rhema and Radio Pacific.
I wrote a monthly column for the Herald, New Zealand’s largest newspaper, during 2001 and 2002.
I had a weekly astronomy chat with Mikey Havoc, Hugh Sundae and others on the alternative radio station 95bFM from 1996 to 2002 ( ).
I initiated and developed the Stardome website between April 1998 and December 2001 ( )
I have written the astronomy sections in several
New Zealand high school textbooks for Newhouse, ESA and ABA plus been consultant or proofreader for various Learning Media publications for New Zealand schools over the last 10 years. 

Between 1999 and 2002 I helped develop teaching materials and a new version of Pipehenge, the unique New Zealand invention that functions as an Observatory, Celestial Sphere, Playground climbing frame and much more. See , and my own Pipehenge web-page for details. In 2001 I briefly promoted Pipehenge in the USA. During 2003 I  travelled with and demonstrated a Portable Multi Latitude (PML) Pipehenge and several Earth Space Simulators (ESS). I sold the PML to Greenwich Observatory.

My interests include: the relationship between science and Christianity, telescope making, woodworking, small boat sailing, landscaping, camp cooking and astrophotography.  I enjoy landscape and documentary photography.

email family at dunlops dot org

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Kingston Flyer with moon. Wakatipu