Friday, 20 August, 2021

Flying doctors to the rescue; Robots do parkour; why Ed Sheeran loves to fail; and the teen pilot flying around the world.



Swysh: Personalised video messages from your favourite sports stars:


Squiz Kids Survey … (just for adults!)


Robots do parkour

Teen pilot Zara Rutherford’s Journey:


Squiz Kids Instagram:

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Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas





As the great Aussie Jab-a-Thon continued to gather pace yesterday, COVID vaccines were being packed onto small planes and flown into remote communities in parts of regional Australia to make sure no one misses out.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service is, as its name suggest, a bunch of doctors who fly around in light planes, landing on dusty runways in far flung corners of our wide brown land, doing all the things that doctors do. 

Because, where most of us can go down the road and visit our friendly local doctor, some Australians live in communities that are so small, and so far away from the big cities and regional towns, that the closest doctor, ambulance or hospital is hundreds, sometimes thousands of kilometres away. 

And so the Royal Flying Doctor Service has rolled up its sleeves to encourage regional Aussies to roll up their sleeves. And to date, they’ve administered more than 11,300 COVID vaccines. Almost half of those have gone into the arms of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Meanwhile – we hit a happy milestone yesterday, with just over half of the adult Australian population having received their first shot of vaccine. And almost 30 percent – or 5.8 million people – fully vaccinated. We’ve got this people! 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Boston, in the United Stats, where a couple of robots have been busy doing parkour.

Parkour, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, is that cool obstacle course type training run that you see people doing outdoors on walls, staircases and rooftops.

The clever scientists at a robotics lab in Boston have programmed a couple of their star creations to run an entire parkour course – jumping, climbing, hopping and even doing backflips.

It’s pretty remarkable stuff. And is a huge step forward for the science of robotics – giving us a hint of a future where robots will be able to walk freely among us. 

I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to video of the robots in action. In the same link there’s a video of how many fails the robots had while learning the ropes … because even robots need to fail to get good at stuff.




Speaking of learning from failures, one of the world’s most successful pop singers, Ed Sheeran, has given an interview and said the best lessons he ever learned were in the midst of failure.

These days, Ed sells out massive concert stadiums, like the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne or Wembley Stadium in London. But he reckons he learned more about life, his music and himself when he was a young singer-songwriter, just starting out, and playing to an audience of one at his local pub than when he played to 90,000 people at Wembley. 

In the same interview he said kids who loved music should be encouraged to pursue it. If you do what you love, according to Ed, it will pay off in the end.  




While we were all sleeping soundly in our cozy beds last night, an amazing teenage pilot was flying all alone towards Iceland, in a bid to become the youngest woman ever to circumnavigate the globe. Circumnavigate means go all the way around, and 19-year-old Zara Rutherford started on her journey yesterday from Belgium. Although in some ways, her journey started when she was 14, and started learning to fly. 

Zara and her ultralight plane will visit 52 countries over 3 months, and along the way, she hopes to encourage other young women to become pilots. Only 5 percent of commercial pilots are women, and Zara wants to change that. She also hopes to inspire women and girls towards careers in STEM—that’s science, technology, engineering, and maths. Once she’s made it around the world, Zara’s dream is to become an astronaut.   

Although the trip won’t take her to Australia, you can follow Zara’s journey live on her website, Get it? She’s Zara, and she’s flying solo. Zolo. There’s a link in your episode notes. 




Attention parents and teachers … 

If you like what you hear from us each day, and you want us to keep informing your kids about the world around them? Then I need your help. 

I need as many of you as possible to fill out the Squiz Kids listener survey this weekend.

I know you all have a lot on your plates right now – but it only takes five minutes – and it will make a world of difference to my ability to keep punching out five episodes of this baby a week. 

Consider it a personal favour …

And kids: I need your help here too. Your job this weekend is to make sure your parents and teachers have filled out the Squiz Kids survey. You know how they harass you to do your homework? This is their homework for the weekend.

And don’t forget: everyone who fills out the survey has a chance to win their choice of either a $200 Booktopia voucher or a $200 Rebel voucher. 

The link to the survey is in your episode notes. Thanks in advance.



“Before we get a stuck into the S’Quiz, you might’ve heard us mention this podcast is in partnership with Swysh… So who are Swysh?… Only the answer to all your Father’s Day present dreams …

Swysh provides personalised video messages from Australia’s biggest sports stars – so many legends your Dad will love – Paul Gallen, Matt Burke, Dane Swan, Corey Parker, there are hundreds to choose from – and all just waiting to send a custom-made message to your Dad this Father’s Day. 

Just pick a star on Swysh, tell them what you want them to say, and Swysh will take care of the rest – sending you the video via email and SMS. 

And the best bit? Part of the proceeds from every Swysh video goes to charities like the Starlight Children’s Foundation and Variety. Check it out at – that’s swish with a y. Get in quick before the top stars sell out. There’s a link to their website in today’s episode notes.




This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. Robots in Boston have been programmed to run what kind of cool obstacle course? 
  2. Which pop star reckons it’s important to fail?
  3. Thinking of Zara, the super brave teen pilot, what’s the word that means to go all the way around the Earth?





It’s August 20 .. birthday for singer Demi Lovato and kids author David Walliams … 

It’s also a Friday .. and that means an extra long shout out segment – so lets crack out that birthday reggae tune …

It’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today….

Kayleigh from Broken Hill, Ben from Oxenford, Jeremy from Thurgoona, Jonathan from Rosebery, Edith from Pullenvale, Oliver from Bardon, Noah from Wellington Point, Kate from Abbotsford, Charlie from Sydney, Brice from Mossvale and Edward from Cheltenham.

And not forgetting all of those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend…  Eleni and Megan from Canberra, Luke from Vaucluse, Felix from Hornsby, Charlotte from Wollongong, Bailey from Abbotsford, Ava from Gordonvale, Khitwinny (pronounced Kit-ween-ee) from Fairfield Heights, Gemma from Melbourne, Millie from Wahroonga, Sophie from Albany Hills, Cooper from Rosemeadow, Elliot from Glenhaven, Ava from Katoomba, Annika from Five Dock, Madison from Mornington and twins Asher and Skye from Cronulla. 

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Melbourne, Canberra and all of NSW are in lockdown – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms … 

To Emilia and Inika, from Ashbury  – your mum and dad are super proud of you and all the hard work you are doing in lockdown.   A herogram to Mrs Urquhart in Class 6 Frangipani at West Port Public School from Sophie and Kennedy.  To Mrs Shirlaw, teaching class 2M at Shell Cove Public school  – who has nearly lost her voice but is still powering on with online teaching.  What a legend.  And lastly to Mrs Redwin at Dobroyd Point Public School in Haberfield for all her support to Class 5R – thank you from Tyson. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Parkour
  2. Ed Sheeran
  3. Circumnavigate