Friday, 3 June, 2022

Houses made from lunchbox leftovers; the world’s largest plant; Steph Curry’s big weekend; and the lion that went to school.



Mountain lion that went to school:

Scripps Spelling Bee contestants – video:


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At some point today, the leftovers in your lunchbox are going to look like a squishy mess. That half-eaten sandwich, that piece of cake your mum lovingly packed for you, that partially chewed muesli bar or the apple you’ve taken three bites out of …

Now, you’d never think that anything even remotely useful could come out of lunchbox leftovers – but thanks to a clever couple of scientists in Japan, we could all one day be living in houses made out of lunchbox leftovers. 

What in the world of waste am I talking about?

Concrete and cement which are otherwise used to build houses are major contributors to climate change – so researchers have been looking to find natural alternatives – and food waste has emerged showing early promise.

Everything from coffee grounds to orange peel to tea leaves to cabbage has been found to make an excellent substitute for cement. And the best bit: it’s completely biodegradable – meaning it will eventually break down and go back to the Earth.


The second best bit? If you got really peckish at night in your bedroom, you could lick the walls. Win win. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in California in the United States – where a mountain lion has gone to school.

Remember the other week we told you the story of an alligator that wandered into a primary school in the US state of South Carolina? Now a mountain lion has made itself at home in a high school classroom in California.

All these animals desperate for an education …

The juvenile lion – juvenile is a fancy word for young – wandered into a high school classroom early Wednesday morning – and was locked in there by a quick thinking cleaner.

Luckily it was so early in the morning that students and teachers hadn’t yet arrived. So there was no chance of anyone being in any danger. 

The lion was eventually captured by wildlife officers who took it back to the nearby forest and set it free. 

There’s a link to a cute photo of the critter in today’s episode notes .. maybe he was just trying to brush up on his maths?




Ballers of Australia … time to get excited – as today marks the start of the NBA finals playoffs as the Golden State Warriors take on the Boston Celtics.

In a best of seven series of games, that stretch from today through to June 19 – the Warriors will be looking to add to their already impressive swag of championship titles. They’ve been in the NBA Finals five times already in the past eight years – and won three titles in that time.

For the Celtics, its the first time they’ve been in the finals since 2010 – and hopes are high their young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will lead them to victory. 

Even so, the Warriors are going in favourites to win – with their star player Steph Curry widely expected to be named MVP … which is short for Most Valuable Player. 

The first game kicks off today at 11am – chances are you’ll be in school for that one – with the second game taking place on Sunday.

And if basketball is not your jam … don’t worry. The other big competitive event happening today in the US is the National Spelling Bee – where 235 of the country’s smartest little spellers battle it out spelling some of the toughest, weirdest, most obscure words in the English language …. Game on!



The biggest and oldest known plant on the planet has been discovered off the coast of Western Australia—and when I say big, it’s a MONSTER. We’re talking about one plant, that’s the size of 20,000 rugby fields… and growing.  

Not only that, but this seagrass plant, known as ribbon weed, is 4,500 years old. Scientists who discovered it say it appears to have slowly grown from one single seed, and is now spread out like a meadow over 200 square kilometres—with turtles, dugongs, dolphins, and plenty of fish calling it home. 

So how do scientists know it’s just one plant? Well, they were trying to study the genetic differences between samples of ribbon weed 180km apart from each other, and realised that they were completely alike. They looked at 18,000 different markers on the plants’ genes, ran even more tests, and still found no differences. So, one single plant. Amazing. 

And if you think that underwater marvel is amazing… wait until you hear what Amanda has discovered in this week’s Squiz Kids Shortcut on the Deep Sea … she takes us on an exploration deep down into the ocean where the sun doesn’t shine, where fish glow in the dark and have skulls so tough they could withstand the pressure of 1600 elephants standing on them … Shortcuts available to teachers via our Squiz Kids for Schools program and to parents via our Apple Subscriber Specials … links to free trials of both in today’s episode notes.




Have you ever wondered why a banana is curved? Or how a potato starts its life if it has no seeds? Well now you can find out.

The Woolworths Fresh Food Kids Discovery Tour program is all about helping early learning centre kids and primary school kids to discover where our fruit and veggies come from.

It’s a classroom experience with fun digital activities, designed with the help of smart foodie people – educators, nutritionists and a food scientist!

From getting crafty with using their senses, to a flying fruit and vegie rainbow – and growing a beetroot in AR – the Fresh Food KIds Discovery Tour progam helps kids learn all about how food gets from the farm all the way to your fork.

Teachers, check it out and grab a free classroom kit at



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

  1. Name one of the two teams in the NBA Finals Playoffs?
  2. The world’s biggest plant has been found in waters off the coast of which Australian state?
  3. What sort of animal wandered into a classroom in California?




It’s June 3 … As I mentioned before – the Scripps National Spelling Bee comes to its dramatic conclusion in the United States today when the champion kid speller of America will be crowned … and the competition is fierce… I’ve stuck a little video in today’s episode notes of some of the contestants talking about the four hours of study they’ve been doing each day … 

It’s also a Friday … and you know what that means. An extra long birthday shout-outs segment – for which we’ll have to crack out the ol’ birthday reggae tune … hit it ..

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

Lucia from Mapleton, Andrew from Dural, Mia from Albany Hills, Eliza from Exeter, Zara from Eagle Vale, Leon from Jerrabomberra, Harrison from Altona Meadows, Finn from Kellyville, Viv from Preston West, Simon from Cannon Hill, William from Abbotsford, Peggy from Clifton Hill, Jimmy from Melbourne and Sienna from Woongarrah. 

A belated birthday shout out goes to Rocco from Adelaide. 

Not forgetting of course all of those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend….Reuben from Perth, Ava from Exeter, Estrella from Strathfield, Panayioti (pronounced Pana Yo-ti) from Kedron, William from Wavell Heights, Abby and Delia from Craigburn, Maxi from Hunters Hill, Claire from Port Macquarie, Walter from Auckland and Nate who is travelling around Australia!  

And finally a special shout out Violet and Malcolm – Squiz Kids listening from their sailing boat (called Wabi Sabi) near Hervey Bay.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Golden State Warriors or Boston Celtics
  2. Western Australia
  3. Mountain Lion