Monday 15 February, 2021

COVID vaccine for kids; Earthquake in Japan; Dylan Alcott chases seventh tennis crown; and goats to the rescue!



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There’s been plenty in the news lately about the roll out of COVID vaccines. Just yesterday, the Federal Government announced that a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine would arrive by the end of this week and start to be jabbed into willing Aussie’s arms by the end of this month. It will start with those most at risk – the elderly and frontline health workers. 

But what about vaccines for kids? Well – there was news on that front yesterday too, with the announcement that a trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine was about to be undertaken on 300 volunteers in the UK aged between six and seventeen years old. Even though COVID doesn’t seem to have the same effect on kids as it does on adults, clinical trials like this one are an important part of the vaccine rollout process – allowing scientists to see, using a controlled group of patients, how effective and safe the vaccine is for younger people.

Meanwhile: Victoria will enter its third day of hard lockdown today as authorities there try to bring the so-called Holiday Inn cluster under control. It’s back to home schooling again for our Victorian friends for at least the first half of this week. Kids: be gentle with your folks this week – they’re going to be on the edge. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today, we’ve landed in Japan where the aftershock of an earthquake that happened ten years ago has rattled the eastern city of Fukushima.

Buildings were shaken, almost a million homes were left without power and more than 100 people were injured in the aftershock – but thankfully there were no reports of lives being lost. 

An earthquake happens when two tectonic plates – which make up the outer crust of the Earth – push against each other, building up pressure, causing a sudden shift. Aftershocks are generally smaller shifts in the Earth’s surface, as the plates settle into their new position. According to scientists, it’s not unusual for an aftershock to happen ten years after an earthquake. Which is just mind-blowing.

Japan sits on a bit of the Earth’s surface where two tectonic plates meet called the Ring of Fire. That’s why one in five of the world’s biggest earthquakes happen in Japan. 




Aussie wheelchair tennis champ and world number one, Dylan Alcott got his Australian Open off to a cracking start yesterday – winning his first round match easily as he chases after his seventh crown in the Mens’ Quad Singles.

It was a good weekend too for our women’s world number one, Ash Barty, who cruised to victory in her third round match – she’ll play America’s Shelby Rogers tonight. 

Not so lucky at the weekend were Aussies Alex de Minaur – aka The Demon – who lost his third round match, while Aussie doubles partners, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis went down too. 



A bunch of goats in NSW are being rented out by a farmer to neighbouring properties who want to get the weeds on their farm under control – but don’t want to use weed killer. 

The novel solution to Mudgee’s weed problem came about after heavy rains in the region saw an explosion of pest plants, like thistle, wisteria and blackberry.

Rather than use chemicals to try to kill the weeds, a local farmer let his mob of goats loose in the paddocks and watched them eat the problem away. Goats are renowned for eating practically anything – from weeds to wet laundry. According to the farmer, 12 of his goats can eat through a blackberry patch the size of a single car garage every single day.

The weed patrol goats have proven so popular some schools have borrowed them to keep their oval tidy – and the folk who run Melbourne’s train system have used them to keep weeds at bay alongside train tracks. 

A clever, environmentally-friendly solution to a prickly, pesky problem.




Don’t forget to keep those questions coming for former yellow Wiggle, Sam Moran – who’s kindly agreed to do the first Squiz Kids Q+A for the year.

Sam’s just put out a new single with Guy Sebastian called Pool Party and he’s ready to answer all your musical and entertainment questions. If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask Sam – now’s your chance. Send it through to [email protected] by next Tuesday. It’s going to be fun.

Speaking of deadlines: today’s the last day for parents and teachers of Squiz Kids to take part in the Bigger Better Squiz Kids Survey. For your chance to win a special book pack – as well as help give shape to your favourite kids’ news podcast – be sure to follow the link in today’s episode notes to the survey. 




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

  1. In which country do 20 percent of the world’s biggest earthquakes occur?
  2. Name Australia’s world number one wheelchair tennis champ?
  3. What animals have been sent in to control weeds on NSW farms?




It’s February 15   … birthday for Simpsons creator Matt Groening, rapper Megan Thee Stallion and YouTube – which turns 16 today … see – it hasn’t been around forever.

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Vivian from Atwell, Spencer from Invermay, Lucius (“LU-shus”) from Yarraman, Chloe from Sydney, Ledger from North Narrabeen, Dash from Wheeler Heights, and Chase from Ruse. 

And some belated birthday shout outs… James from Wallan, Felicity and Taylor from Ingham, Noah from North Narrabeen, Barnaby and Anya from Sydney and Ben from Temora. 

Happy birthday one and all!

Classroom shoutouts…Miss Bates’ 4A class at Edithvale Primary School, 5/6 H and L at St. Joseph’s in Mernda, class 6B at Berwick Lodge Primary School. 5/6A, H and P at Cannon Hill State School. And a special shoutout to 6G at St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, with Mrs Jensen who celebrated a birthday last week. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Japan
  2. Dylan Alcott
  3. Goats