Wednesday, 1 February, 2023

Radioactive needle in a haystack; Scotland’s Rubik’s cube champions; Crackdown on Influencers; and there’s a bear on Mars. 

Squiz Kids is an award-winning, free daily news podcast just for kids. Give us ten minutes, and we’ll give you the world.  A short podcast that gives kids the lowdown on the big news stories of the day, delivered without opinion, and with positivity and humour.

‘Kid-friendly news that keeps them up to date without all the nasties’ (A Squiz Parent)

This Australian podcast for kids easily fits into the daily routine – helping curious kids stay informed about the world around them.

Fun. Free. Fresh. 


Radioactive capsule

Bull Sharks in Brissie

Rubik’s cube masters:

Bear on Mars

Smiling sun:


Play School theme tune through the years:

Pareidolia – Why we see faces in objects:

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You’ve heard the expression ‘like trying to find a needle in a haystack’, right? It’s an expression that’s used if something is really hard – or perhaps even impossible – to find.

And that’s the challenge facing authorities in Western Australia this week as they scramble to try and find a radioactive capsule that fell off the back of a truck somewhere in the outback.

What does ‘radioactive’ mean? It means something that emits radiation. What’s radiation? Radiation is energy in the form or particles or electromagnetic rays. Think like what Peter Parker was exposed to before he became Spiderman. But instead of giving you superpowers – in real life, exposure to high doses of radiation can make you really sick. 

So the search is on to find the missing capsule – which is smaller than a ten cent piece. The catch? It fell off the back of a truck at some point during a 1,400 km journey – and nobody knows exactly where. It’s kind of like losing a marble on a car trip from Sydney to Brisbane but not knowing exactly where on the journey you lost it.  

Crews were yesterday searching for the Tic Tac sized capsule up and down the highway – while experts reassured the public that, left alone and untouched in the middle of the desert, it would cause very little damage – and was only really dangerous if someone picked it up and put it in their pocket. 

I’ve stuck a link to a photo of it in today’s episode notes. 



Proving altogether less difficult to find this week have been bull sharks in the Brisbane River. 

The Queensland capital has been a-buzz this week after a man who lives in an apartment block on the river in the centre of the city posted video of 20 bull sharks swimming happily away. 

I’ve stuck a link to the video in today’s episode notes. Squiz Kids of Brissie: stay out of the river!



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in SCotland, in the city of Glasgow to be specific, where the World Championship for Rubik’s Cubers has just taken place. 

And get this … the winner of this year’s competition managed to complete his cube in 5.35 seconds … that’s just amazing.

Speed-cubing, as it’s called has become a really popular sport among kids – with some saying the humble cube, which was first released as a toy way back in the 70s and became popular in the early 80s, is enjoying a resurgence in popularity – which is to say heaps of kids are playing it again – and sharing videos of themselves cubing online.

I’ve stuck a link to some video from the Glasgow championships in today’s episode notes – it’s very impressive stuff … 



There’s a bear up there …. Long time viewers of Play School will recognise that as a variation on the opening words of the theme tune .. and it’s something the astronomers at NASA might well be humming following the discovery this week of a bear’s face on the surface of Mars … 

A spaceship orbiting Mars – which means it’s spinning around above it – has captured a photo of what looks like a bear’s face on the surface of the red planet. I’ve stuck a link to the photo in today’s episode notes. Happily, it’s a friendly looking bear – not a mean one. 

There are lots of space probes sent from Earth spinning around in space – taking photos of faraway planets and sending them back to scientists here on Earth. Check out today’s episode notes for a photo of the sun with what appears to be a great big smile on its face. Because who doesn’t like to put a smiley face on their suns when they’re drawing? You’re welcome. 


CCC – A-ha … the Classroom Companion Clarion – letting us know that today’s worksheets are linked to this news story in the podcast. Remember that we’ve made our Classroom Companions free to all teachers – woo-hoo! So if you’re after curriculum-aligned, differentiated worksheets to extend your kids, sign-up via the Squiz Kids website and get involved. And remember that if you refer a colleague and they mention your name when signing up – you’ll go into the draw to win a $250 gift voucher. Because we’re generous like that.





Every Wednesday, Squiz-E the Newshound sticks his snout into Squiz Kids HQ and lets us know what fishy things he’s sniffed out on the internet. And after a deliciously long summer break, Squiz-E’s nose is back and twitching more than ever … (INSERT Sound Effect > SQUIZ-E NEWSHOUND HOWL) and this week his ears have pricked following the news that some of YouTube, Instagram and Tik Tok’s biggest names are being investigated and could be fined up to half a million dollars for failing to tell their followers they are being paid to peddle products. 

Lots of influencers on social media get paid by companies to endorse their products. Endorse means to state publicly that you like or use something – it could be a soft drink, a toothbrush, a face cream or a toy. It’s against the law to promote a product and not tell your audience you’re being paid to promote it. And that’s why some of the biggest names in Australian social media are now being investigated by a group called the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. 

It’s a good reminder that if we’re ever on YouTube or Insta or Tik Tok (not that you should be before the age of 13, mind you …) and the person we follow is talking about a specific product – we should do as Squiz E always tells us to do – and that’s Stop. Think, and Check about whether that person has disclosed whether or not they are being paid to endorse it.


And don’t forget teachers + parents out there … Squiz Kids’ very own media literacy program for primary school kids, the imaginatively-titled Newshounds, is the perfect way to teach your kids to be savvy internet surfers. It’s an eight-part podcast series hosted by Amanda and me – with classroom activities – all designed to help kids become critical consumers of media. And the best part: for a limited time, it’s absolutely FREE …. Sign up via the Squiz Kids website .. or via the link in today’s episode notes. 




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

  1. What sort of sharks have been filmed in the Brisbane River?
  2. Which planet in our solar system has what appears to be a bear’s face on its surface? 
  3. In which city in Scotland have the Rubik’s Cube Championships been held?





It’s February 1…today is World Hijab Day – a day to celebrate our differences – and it’s also World Read Aloud Day – which could possibly make for some noisy moments in your parents and teachers lives today ..

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Benji from Hurstbridge, Rosie from Hazelbrook, Oscar from Clifton Hill and Abbigail from Yamanto. 

And because we’ve been off on school hols for all of January – and we don’t want any January babies missing out on their shout out – we’re going to be doing belated birthday shout outs for the rest of this week … here goes … 

Belated birthday wishes go to… Frank from Manly, Jack from Darlington, Eliza from Plainland, Kyle and Indie from Oak Park, Nathaniel from Maroubra, Louisa from Camp Hill, Luca from Heathridge, Annabel from Vaucluse, Leila from Woongarrah, James and Grace from Singapore, Colin listening over in Marquette, USA and Emma listening from Vancouver, Canada. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Bull sharks
  2. Mars
  3. Glasgow