Friday 24 July, 2020

The race to Mars has lift-off; return of the blimps; Dylan Alcott takes on bullies; and Roblox versus Fortnite.



What’s Up Fox?




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Turia Pitt Research Resources: 

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Turia Pitt website:

Send your Turia Pitt questions to: [email protected]






China yesterday joined the race to Mars, sending a rocket into space in what will now be a race between it and America to land a rover on the red planet.

The US is expected to launch its own Mars mission next week.

Both rockets are carrying a vehicle – or a rover – which both countries hope they will be able to land on the surface of Mars and start to undertake a series of science experiments – including looking for evidence of water on Mars, which in turn could indicate there was once life on the planet. 

It will take seven months for both rockets to reach Mars. 

If successful, it will be the first time China has sent a rocket to Mars. The US has already successfully landed four rovers on the surface of Mars. 

And of course, both China and America’s Mars missions come hot on the heels of the effort launched earlier this week by the United Arab Emirates – who sent their own rocket to the red planet.

They can have a rocket ship rendezvous with one another when they all arrive in February. What fun. 





Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today, we’ve landed in France … where blimps are making a comeback.

What’s a blimp? It’s an inflatable airship — a great big, torpedo-shaped aircraft, also sometimes referred to as zeppelins. 

They were a popular form of air travel many decades ago – until the advent of the jet plane. But now the blimp is having a moment.

A factory in the South of France has just started production on a version of the blimp called ‘Flying Whales’ – because the shape resembles a whale – which will be used to carry cargo. 

And in England, another company is hard at work developing a blimp which will be used to carry passengers. 

Blimps take flight in a similar fashion to hot air balloons. And the best bit? They’re much kinder to the environment than jet planes, whose emissions are a known contributor to global warming.




Aussie tennis champ, Dylan Alcott has spoken bravely about the bullying he copped as a kid – and has urged all kids who are teased for being different to stay strong and know that one day they will find their tribe.

Speaking in an interview with fellow wheelchair athlete and multiple world champ – the remarkable Kurt Fearnley – Dylan said he had low self-esteem as a kid – and says sport gave him the greatest gift possible by showing him there were people in the world just like him. “I realised I was part of a bigger community and started to be proud of who I was,” Dylan said.

Another reason we reckon he’s a dead-set legend.





Just when you thought there was no way an online game could be as popular as Fortnite … Roblox comes along and sneaks up on it.

The makers of the popular online meeting space this week revealed that half of all kids and teens under the age of 16 play Roblox at least once a week. 

And this week has come news of a new space in Roblox for users to host private get togethers. It’s called Party Place, and it’s being described by the company as a cool place for parents and kids to host virtual birthday parties for small groups of friends. 

Experts say the popularity of the game has taken off since COVID lockdowns meant real parties and actual social interaction has been scaled back. 

As long as the birthday cake is real and not virtual, I’m down with it.





Every Friday we check in with Squiz Kids ambassador, Flynn, known as The Fox to his friends, to see what he’s been reading, listening to and watching. 

And in the reading stakes this week, he’s been diving into Artemis Fowl and The Atlantic Complex. If you’ve not yet lost yourself in the Artemis Fowl series of books, you should give them a go. The books’ hero is a kid with magic fairy powers who’s one of the great criminal masterminds of his time. It’s dangerous, a bit naughty and loads of fun.

In terms of watching … it’s been Baby Sitters Club all week this week – the revamped, new-look series on Netflix has been well-and-truly binged with his sister by his side.

And as for listening … his earphones this week have been thumping with .. Only a Fool, by Galantis. And remember every week the Fox each recommended song to his What’s Up Fox playlist on Spotify. I’ll pop a link into today’s episode notes. 




Don’t forget – our next Squiz Kids Q+A is coming up with the all-round awesome Turia Pitt. 

Following the success of our Q+A session with the Prime Minister and Dr Ginni Mansburg, Turia has kindly agreed put herself in the Squiz Kids Hot Seat and answer any questions you might want to throw at her about her remarkable life and how to turn bad things into good. 

Thanks to those of you who have sent in questions already -they’re awesome.  

If you want a bit of inspiration, we’ve included a bunch of Turia Pitt Research Resources in today’s episode notes. And a reminder you’ve got until Tuesday to send your questions to: [email protected]





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

  1. Which country yesterday sent a rocket ship to Mars? 
  2. What’s the name of the inflatable aircraft about to make a comeback?
  3. Which online game has started to rival Fortnite in popularity?




It’s July 24 … birthday of wildlife warrior, Bindi Irwin and footy player Valentine Holmes  

It’s also a Friday – and that means we bring out the special Squiz Kids birthday tune to help us do the shout outs …

Celebrating birthdays are these Squiz Kids… Isla and Junhao from Melbourne, Jackson from Double Bay, Destiny, Aysha and Jet from Sydney, Giselle from Clayfield, Jack from Brunswick West, Sophie from Plenty, Audrey from Mt Kuring-gai, Jackson from Blackburn, Stella from Heathmont, Hannah from Wheelers Hill, Patterson from Chinchilla, Georgia from Mt Eliza, Ben from Esperance, and Scott from Bungendore.

And some belated birthday shoutouts to Addison from Brisbane and George from Chipping Norton. 

Not forgetting of course those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend … Zara from Woongarrah, Ted from Pascoe Vale, Rory from Crookwell, Alfie from Capalaba, Andrew from Caulfield South, Anthony from Sheoak Grove, William from Bundaberg, Hannah from Oran Park, Alec from Miranda, Lila from Sapphire Beach, Katie from Ashmont and Farrah from Mereweather.

Happy birthday to you all. 

And a very special shoutout to Elijah from 4 Blue at St Joseph’s in Moorebank, who is leaving the school after being there since kindergarten. All his friends wish him the best of luck. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. China
  2. Blimp
  3. Roblox