Monday, August 21, 2023

Spain wins World Cup; Fire and floods in North America; saving the northern bin chicken; and the race to the moon is on!


Saving the northern bald ibis – Johannes Fritz:


Squiz Kids LIVE! Buy tickets to our Canberra show here:

Squiz Kids Book Club:



Get started on our free media literacy resource for classrooms

Classroom Companion:

Teachers! Want to access free, curriculum-aligned classroom resources tied to the daily podcast? Sign up to be a Squiz Kids Classroom and download the Classroom Companion each day. Made by teachers for teachers, differentiated to suit all primary school ability levels. And did we mention it’s free?

Stay up to date with us on our Squiz Kids Instagram!  


Got a birthday coming up and you want a shout-out? Complete the form on our Squiz Kids website. Link: SHOUT OUTS or / send us an email at [email protected]




How do you say world champions in Spanish? I’m not sure – but I know what it looks like having last night watched Spain win the grand final of the Women’s World Cup in Sydney.  

Fresh from their semi-final victory over the Matildas, the English Lionesses went into last night’s finals as the favourites, but Spain were just too strong – too clever and too tactical – winning the game by 1 goal to nil.

Spain has now become the only country in the world to win both the men’s and women’s World Cup. Que viva Espagna!  

And so the sporting event that has captivated us for the past month drew to a close. Thirty two nations across four weeks in sold-out stadiums, two million tickets sold, an estimated 2 billion people around the world tuned in to watch the competition on TV. 

And then of course there were the Matildas .. the team that captured the hearts of a nation … who have done so much for women’s sport in Australia in such a short space of time. 

In their play off for the bronze medal on Saturday night, the Matildas just couldn’t overcome Sweden – going down 2-0.

That still means we finished fourth best team in the world .. which is frankly amazing. And yesterday in Brisbane, the Matildas were given a hero’s reception at a special fan day – a chance for Australia to say thank you for inspiring us. 

  And if you: like the rest of the country, has developed a women’s football addiction over these last four weeks – don’t panic … the Olympic qualifiers are coming up in  Perth in October – where the Matildas will get to do it all over again. Bring it on.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in North America – the entire continent, in fact, where two emergencies are unfolding at different ends of the extreme weather spectrum.

In Canada, wildfires in the Northwest Territories and the province of British Columbia has forced the evacuation of thousands as the country experiences the worst wildfire season on record. 

Meanwhile, a bit further to the south in the countries of the United State and Mexico, people there were on alert last night as Hurricane Hillary barreled toward them. Sandbags were being filled as residents were being warned to prepare for the hurricane to cause widespread flooding. 

Now if only Hillary would track further north and put out all those fires … 

To our Squiz Kids listeners over there: we’re all thinking of you. Stay safe. 




If you live pretty much anywhere in Australia (except for Tassie,) and you’ve been to a park lately, you’ve probably seen an ibis. Nicknamed the dump chook, tip turkey or bin chicken, white ibis have adapted to city life in Australia and are thriving. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for Europe’s northern bald ibis, a huge, big-beaked bird, that is close to extinction. Luckily, one Austrian biologist, Johannes Fritz, has made it his life’s mission to return the beleaguered bird back to the wild. Beleaguered is a fancy word meaning that the bird is in a stressful situation.

In 2004, Mr Fritz, started hand rearing the birds. He became their mum, giving them food, love and cuddles. But to survive in the wild, they’d need to learn to fly south to escape Europe’s icy winters and they would need someone to show them how to do it. So, Mr Fritz took to the skies in an ultralight aircraft; basically, a seat with a giant propellor at the back, to show the birds where to go. I’ve stuck a link and a map in your episode notes so you can take a look.

Mr Fritz first took the flock south, over the Alps, a huge mountain range, but as the climate changes, he’s having to teach the ibis a new, safer, but much longer route. So, if you’re in Southern Spain and you look up to the skies and ask yourself….”is it a bird? is it a plane?” It might just be Mr Fritz and his feathered family flying south for the winter.


Oh- there’s the Classroom Companion Clarion .. indicating that Christie – Squiz Kids very own primary school teacher – has made up some super cool, free classroom worksheets to go with this news story in the podcast. She’s even created a very cool game of Synonym Snap.

Teachers: if you’re not on board the Classroom Companion train – hop on over to our website and sign up to Squiz Kids Classroom already. You’ll be mighty glad you did.




The race to the moon is officially on! 

Some time today, if a last minute hiccup is sorted out, Russia will land a rocket ship on the Moon, packed full of scientific equipment to search for water and examine the soil up there. It will be Russia’s first time back to the Moon in 47 years. 

Hot on Russia’s heels this week will be India – who, if all goes to plan, will land a spacecraft on the south pole of the Moon this Wednesday – making it the first nation ever to achieve this. 

Why are they heading to the south pole? Because it is sheltered from the sun and spends most of its time in shadow, the craters there are believed to contain ice. And why is that a big deal?  Because if there’s water on the moon – that can really push ahead plans we humans have to set up a permanent base on the Moon to explore the rest of the galaxy. And also – to get all sciencey for a second – because water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used as rocket fuel, there’s a chance the Moon could become a sort of petrol station in the sky for spaceships to land on and refuel before blasting off into deep space. How cool is that? 



Alrighty people … here we go. It’s Book Week. And that means whacking on a costume from your favourite book and parading around the school oval. Happy days! And because we love sharing in how clever and creative you all are: we’re running a special Book Week competition .. All this week … take a photo of yourself in your Book Week outfit, share it to your socials, tagging @squizkids or #squizkids on Instagram or Facebook so we can see it and share it ourselves – and we’ll be handing out prizes to the best costumes – thanks to our friends at Walker Books. 

And teachers: we’ve got you covered too. Give Squiz Kids a follow on Facebook and upload your pic to your socials tagging us – and we’ll re-post them to our own socials pages and pick a winner. Because who doesn’t love Book Week. Happy glue gunning! 


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

  1. What sort of a bird is Austria’s Mr Fritz teaching to fly south for the winter?
  2. What’s the name of the hurricane bearing down on Mexico and the United States?
  3. Which two countries sent a spacecraft to the Moon this week?





It’s August 21 – birthday for Jamaican sprinter and one-time fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt .. and also a birthday for the city of Hobart .. which celebrates its 181st birthday today. Happy Birthday Hobart .. 


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today and tomorrow… Lily from Flagstaff Hill, Wasim from Vermont South, Eesa from Ashmont, Florence from Cronulla, Lincoln from Oyster Bay, Emily from Ballina, Abi and Kate from Mount Gravatt, Isla from Sydney, Abhik from Ryde, Harper from Burekup, Kiralee from Burpengary, Harrison from Bonner, Maddy, Oakley and Carter from Gulgung, Ayden from Nightcliff, Ava from Grovedale, James from Cannon Hill, Kenzie and Aryan from Oran Park, Ava from Alkimos, Jeremy from Thurgoona, Quinn from Norman Park, Cooper from Riddells Creek, Tyler from Nuriootpa, Oliver from Bathurst, Rory from Raceview and Poppy from Eltham. Also to Reese listening in New Zealand, Juliette in France, Kaylee in California, USA and Vivi in Washington DC, USA. 


And belated birthday shout outs go to… Joseph from Holsworthy, Joe from Mawson Lakes, D’Angelo from Greystanes, Hugo from Kiama and Jemima from Campsie. 

Classroom shoutouts today go to … classes 5 red and blue with Mrs Kerr, Mrs Brown and Mrs Lawler at Mater Dei Catholic Primary School in Wagga Wagga, Mrs Young’s class at Sacred Heart School in Booval and Year 3 in Room 8 with Mrs Grant at Ballajura Primary School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Ibis
  2. Hillary
  3. India and Russia