Thursday, 29 April, 2021

Black rhino bonanza; America’s 12 year-old college graduate; vaccines for Olympic medals; and how dolphins form gangs.



Sabi: the black rhino: mud bath video and pics:

Black rhino facts:

International Dance Day:


Squiz Kids Instagram:

Got a birthday coming up and you want a shout-out? Send us an email at [email protected]

Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.





Her name is Sabi, and despite the fact she’s only seven weeks old, she  already weighs 112 kilograms. Thankfully we;re not talking about a human baby. But rather, a black rhino. 

And yesterday, when little Sabi the rhino calf made her first public appearance at Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, NSW – where she was born – there were cheers that could be heard from rhino conservationists all over the world.

Sabi is part of a rhino breeding program at the zoo in western NSW. Black rhinos are what’s called ‘critically endangered’ in the wild. Which is to say, hunters and poachers – who are people who illegally hunt wild animals – have been so active in Africa, where black rhinos live, that the number of black rhinos in the wild has dropped to only 6,000. 

The rhino breeding program at Western Plains Zoo has been so successful, Sabi is the 15th calf to be born there – and the fourth baby to mummy rhino, Bakhita. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a super cute video of Sabi taking her first mud bath. And a link to a great website about rhino conservation. You’re welcome. 





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 Carolina – a state in the United States – where a 12 yo kid has not only just successfully finished high school, but has also graduated from college [with what degree?].

College is what Americans call university. It’s where people go after school if they want a degree. And while it’s usual forusuallynormally, people to graduate college in their earlymid-20s – young Mike Wimmer has achieved that impressive feat at the age of 12. Wowsers. 

A self-confessed robotics fan and a self-described ‘maths and science guy’, Mike says he used the lockdowns in the US to take on extra classes and put in extra time on his studies.

Gosh. And it’s all I can do to get my 13 year old to do an hour of homework. 

Mike’s parents say he got his first i-Pad when he was 18 months old and taught himself robotics and computer programming by watching YouTube videos.

Mike Wimmer – we salute you.  




A jab for a shot at a medal. That’s the plan for the 2,000 or so Aussies heading to Japan in a couple of months for the Tokyo Olympics. 

Team Australia – which is all the athletes and officials lined up to travel to Tokyo for the Games which kick off in July – will receive a COVID vaccine before they travel, it was announce earlier this week.

Managing the threat of COVID at a sporting event which will bring together athletes from all corners of the world is one of the big challenges organisers face at these upcoming Games.

You’ll remember the Games were supposed to happen last year, but had to be postponed because … COVID.

Hopefully they’ll go ahead as planned in July, with Japan currently fighting off increased numbers of new cases of the virus. So many  athletes from all over the world have spent so many hours training to compete. Fingers and toes crossed, people.




Did you know that every dolphin has its very own, unique whistle? And according to new research, dolphins recognise one another according to those whistles, and learn those whistles like you and I learn the names of our friends, and then for the rest of their dolphin lives, they will come to the aid of their friend whenever they hear that whistle.


It’s one of the new findings from a bunch of scientists who have been studying a pod of dolphins in Shark Bay – off the coast of Western Australia. 

The scientists found that dolphins form friendships groups – and will rush to defend one another if ever they are threatened by another sea creature, say for example a shark. And they use their whistles to call out for their buddies whenever they need help.

Dolphin gangs. It’s now officially a thing.




Don’t forget our next Squiz Kids Q+A is with Peter Titmaniss – one of the people responsible for the Naplan test. Now’s your chance to turn the tables and make the examiner answer YOUR questions. 

About a million Aussie kids will be taking Naplan tests in the coming weeks: one test in reading, one in writing, one in spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and one in numeracy – which is a fancy word for maths. One million kids, four tests each: that’s four million tests! Gosh. I’d hate to have the job of marking those. I wonder how many questions that adds up to…. Speaking of questions, get yours in before Monday by emailing  [email protected]




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

  1. What sort of animal made her first public appearance at Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo yesterday?
  2. Tokyo, where the Olympics are due to be held, is the capital city of what country?
  3. Which marine animal have scientists discovered talk to one another using their unique whistles?




It’s April 29   … International Dance Day – a day for lovers of dance in all countries around the world to saute, plie, pirhouette, crump, twerk, hip-hop and tap their hearts out. There’s a link in today’s episode notes to the official website. 

It’s also a special day for these kids celebrating a birthday today …. Navya from Blacktown, April from Morningside, Sylvie, Harry and Gigi from Melbourne, Ivy from Kempsey, Harry from Heidelberg, Levi from Forest Lake, Sid from Bentleigh East and Amelia from Port Stephens.

Classroom shoutouts… class 5ZB at Lane Cove Public School, class 6 white at Holy Family Primary School in Gowrie, and the Year 6 Student Leaders at Cannon Hill State School. And a special shoutout to class 3/4E at Rangebank Primary school and their teacher Miss Moisi  who celebrated a birthday yesterday, and the Grade 5 kids from Beaconsfield Primary School, whose teacher  has a birthday today. 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Black rhino
  2. Japan
  3. Dolphins