From a young age, Noah Hunt (17) has always been interested in the world above him.

Noah is taking his interest to another level, by running a youth club to encourage kids and teenagers to become involved in astronomy.

"I'm wanting to give the next generation a push to become interested in the subject."

Noah, a member of the Hāwera Astronomical Society, says he is wanting to give children an opportunity that was not available to him when he was younger.


"When I was four my parents gave me some books and I would always read the ones about space.

"My interest went away for a while because I didn't learn anything about it at school and there was nowhere to go to learn.

"Being in the society, I'm now in a position where I know what I missed out on and I'm wanting to give kids a place to go so they don't end up in the same position I did."

When Noah went to high school, he learned more about astronomy and where it could take him.

"My interest came back and I joined the society. I've been a member for four years, I love being a member and attending the meetings. I enjoy being around like-minded people."

Noah's passion for helping people grow their interest is a driving factor for what he wants to do for a career.

"I'm going to study astrophysics and cosmology. I'm hoping to establish my own research centre and planetarium so I can help people."

Having an interest in astronomy is important, Noah says.


"It's so important, especially here in New Zealand. For Whanganui and Taranaki iwi, Puanga is the significant star to celebrate the Māori New Year and it's important to know what it is and how to find it.

"It's also a great interest to have in general. I find astronomy a great topic to learn about."

He says parents can help grow their children's interest.

"My parents gave me books on astronomy and I'm thankful for their support. There are also videos to watch on YouTube but the biggest help is finding a youth club so they can be around like-minded people."

The club is aimed at youth aged 8-18.

"This is the recommended age, purely because the meetings have a late start time. It needs to be fully dark so we can see the stars."


Club members will learn observation and star mapping skills, how to use telescopes and different theoretical skills.

"I'll also help each member in the specific field they are interested in."

He says other society members are supportive of the youth club.

"They've offered to help me with the meetings and I'm very grateful for their support. Being my age and having the opportunity to help grow the interest of others close to my age is amazing."

Noah says he is excited the club is going ahead.

"I've had the idea for the club since December last year so I'm over the moon that it's happening.


"Twenty two members have signed up for the club, it is beneficial for both me and the members as we are both learning new things as I'll be heavily researching things to teach."

He says he wants more people to make use of the Hāwera Observatory.

"The best thing is seeing the interest spark in people when you show them something through a telescope. It's an amazing feeling."

Noah says it is yet to be confirmed when meetings will take place, but information will be posted to the Hāwera Astronomical Society Facebook page.