Thursday, 2 February, 2023

Smashing soccer records; jail time for dancing in Iran; a monster Melbourne wasp nest; and Barbie’s sister’s scoliosis. 

Maths Challenge Solution: 

10% of 25 million is 2.5 million, or 2,500,000.

That would buy 250,000 children tickets to a Women’s World Cup match!

Squiz-E’s questions: 

  • Why do you think the TV show didn’t report WHEN this incident happened?
  • Why do you think the exterminator agreed to appear on the show, almost a year after it happened?
  • Why do you think the extermination company keeps reposting different versions of the video to TikTok?


Harry Souttar highlights:

Iranian couple dancing:

Chelsea doll with scoliosis:

“Terrifying” wasp nest on Channel 9 yesterday:

The original April 2022 video (MUTE to avoid slightly salty language):


Sport participation in Australia: statistics and trends

A parents’ guide to explaining the situation in Iran:

Some toys that represent disabilities:

A guide to designing toys that represent disabilities:

Why representation matters for children with disabilities:

More on European wasps:

Australia’s Worst Invasive Species:

Groundhog Day explained:


Search For The Ultimate $5 Lunchbox  

Write to us at [email protected] and let us know what three things you’d put in your ultimate lunch box … we’ll read out the best ones on the podcast. #sponsored


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?


Get started on our free media literacy resource for classrooms

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]




More Aussie kids play soccer than any other team sport, so I know lots of you will be interested in two big pieces of news from the world of the round ball.

First up, the organisers of this year’s Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand, have decided to move the opening match to a bigger stadium in Sydney. That’s because tickets to the first game of the world cup, which will be held on July 20, sold out lickety-split. Thanks to the move to Stadium Australia, another 40,000 people will be able to see, in person, Sam Kerr’s Matildas take on Ireland. And if all 83,500 seats are filled, it will smash the highest attendance for a Matilda’s game in Australia, which is currently at 36,109, from a 2021 friendly against the USA. 

The new tickets go on sale on Friday, February 24… so start saving your pocket money! Kids tickets cost $10 and up… which isn’t much when you think about what one English premier league club has paid to have legendary Aussie defender Harry Souttar on their team. 

Harry was widely seen as the best Socceroos’ player in last year’s record-breaking World Cup, and Leicester City is believed to have paid more than $25 million for him. That makes him the most expensive Australian soccer player in history—although to be clear, Harry doesn’t get all the money. His old club, Stoke City, has sold him to Leicester City in what is called a transfer, and the $25 million is called a transfer fee. The player usually gets to keep between 5 and 10 percent of that cash. Here’s a maths problem for you: If Harry Souttar gets 10% of $25 million, how many $10 kids tickets to the Women’s World Cup could he buy? I’ll pop the answer in your episode notes. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin, and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Iran, where a young couple engaged to be married have been sentenced to ten and a half years in jail for dancing in the street. 

Here in Australia, it’s hard to believe that a video of a couple spinning around in happiness – with sparkle effects added – could lead to jail time. But over the past few months in Iran, there have been huge protests against the Iranian government’s super strict rules – which include bans on public dancing, and women showing their hair. And in the video, which I’ve linked in your episode notes, 21-year-old Astiazh Haqiqi and her fiance, Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, broke both those rules. Their video, which they shared with two million followers on Instagram, was made in front of the Freedom Tower in the capital, Tehran… and the video has, not surprisingly, been seen as part of their people’s fight for freedom. 

The Iranian government is trying to use harsh punishments to intimidate people, and stop them protesting. It’s believed that they’ve arrested an estimated 14,000 people in the past four months—but the protests continue. 



Hands up if you have a Barbie Doll at home? I’ll bet that a lot of hands just went up.  Maybe you also have Barbie’s little sister, Chelsea. Well, a new Chelsea doll has just been released, and Chelsea now has scoliosis.

If you haven’t heard of it before, scoliosis is where a person’s back curves sideways rather than front to back. The causes of scoliosis are still unknown, but it tends to develop as kids become teens. You’ll probably get checked for it when you get to high school! People who have scoliosis might need regular x-rays to keep an eye on their bone development, and they could wear a back brace for a part of each day to stop their spine from curving any further.

Toy company Mattel, which makes Barbie, worked with a specialist spinal doctor to design Chelsea. She has a different curvature to her spine and she comes with a removable back-brace. Mattel says that they “believe in the power of representation.” And with more than fifteen percent of the world’s population living with a disability, it’s pretty important to make sure they’re represented! 

CCC – A-ha … the Classroom Companion Clarion – warning us that today’s worksheets are linked to the next news story. It’s all about using context clues to make predictions, so I strongly recommend that the thousand-plus teachers who’ve signed up to Squiz Kids Classroom pause the podcast! And, a quick reminder, our amazing educational resources are now free – sign up on our website. 




If you are allergic to wasps, you might want to sit a little closer to your epipen as you listen to this one. A pest controller who appeared on Channel 9 yesterday morning shared a video of a record-breaking wasp nest that he encountered in Melbourne that was bigger than … wait for it… ME. I’m 175 centimetres tall, and this terrifying nest measured 177 centimetres. Unlike me, it was filled with thousands of deadly wasps. Yikes! The house had been unoccupied during COVID, so the wasps had time to eat their way through a bathroom wall and build their monstrous home. 

I’ve shared the exterminator’s original video, from March last year, and his Channel 9 appearance, from yesterday, in your episode notes. When you watch them, see if you can answer Squiz E the Newshound’s questions, which are just below the links.

It always pays to stop, think, and check. 



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

  1. Which country are the Matildas playing against in the opening match of this year’s Women’s World Cup? 
  2. Barbie’s little sister has a spine condition called… 
  3. The European wasps found in a Melbourne home are an invasive species. What are other invasive species causing trouble in Australia? 




It’s February 2 … Groundhog Day in the United States, where people breathlessly wait for a groundhog called Phil to come out from his burrow in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The superstition is that if Phil sees his shadow – meaning, if the sun is shining – he will scurry back underground, and winter will last for six more weeks. If the sun isn’t shining, then the warmth of spring will come sooner. Which frankly makes no sense to me. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? 


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Charlotte from Yass, Charlie from Myrtleford, Rubi from Cannon Hill, Jonah from Kotara South, Adeline from Burleigh Heads, Josie from Plainland, Noah from Blackmans Bay and Emma from Illawong.

And continuing with our celebration of those lucky January babies who get their birthdays in the school holidays… very happy belated birthday wishes to…. 

Hillary and Archer from Ashmont, Lexie from Mount Hawthorn, Alllison from Watsons Bay, Marcus and Clara from Richmond, Emilia from Hornsby, Tristan from Northcote, Emily from Newtown, Rihanna from Yarabilba, Cooper from Springfield, Rafi from East Geelong, Alyssa from Vermont South, Thomas and Laura from Campbell Town and lastly Xavier and Jasper listening over in Switzerland!


The S’Quiz Answers:

  • Ireland
  • Scoliosis
  • Cane toads; rabbits; feral pigs, cats, goats; rot root fungus. Yep, plants can be invasive too.