Tuesday, 17 May, 2022

Tonga’s volcano biggest ever; introducing pee-cycling; Sam Kerr is the GOAT; and growing plants in moon dirt.



Tonga volcano https://edition.cnn.com/2022/05/12/asia/tonga-eruption-biggest-in-more-a-century-scn/index.html?utm_term=1652536927979b4e2b68d5a13&utm_source=cnn_Wonder+Theory+5.14.22&utm_medium=email&bt_ee=VpAFNqOLcgQjWmm90PcTLAjOZwMeiLq5Df5rJeR37x%2F7sqBNhbKloNQlI3RBH1SN&bt_ts=1652536927981


Sensational World of Civics : https://www.squizkids.com.au/civics/


Squiz Kids for Schools: https://www.squizkids.com.au/squiz-kids-for-schools/

Squiz Kids Apple Subscriber Content: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/squiz-kids/id1494238283

How To Become A Squiz Kids Correspondent: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FH2HA28InnLU6UxE91wrLBAbCMT40Mua/view

Squiz Kids Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/squizkids/?hl=en

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





It’s official …. The underwater volcanic explosion that rocked the Pacific Island of Tonga back in February and sent shockwaves around the world was the biggest eruption ever recorded with modern instruments – and at least as big as the eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia over 100 years ago which killed many thousands of people.

Since the January 15 eruption of the undersea Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanoabout 65 kilometres off the coast of Tonga’s main island, scientists have been piecing together data collected from the earth-shattering event. 

And they’ve concluded that the eruption was so large that pressure waves reverberated around the globe for six whole days afterwards – and the huge plume of gases, water vapour and dust it threw up into the atmosphere created hurrican strength winds in outer space.


The volcanic island of Krakatoa in Indonesia erupted way back in 1883 – an eruption that was so huge it is estimated to have claimed at least 30,000 lives. Thankfully, very few people died as a result of the Tonga volcanic eruption – despite it causing large tsunamis – which are powerful and often destructive tidal waves. 

I’ve stuck a link to video of the Tonga eruption as seen from space, in today’s episode notes.  

Want to know more about the how and why of volcanoes? We’ve done an excellent Squiz Kids Shortcut on Earthquakes and Volcanoes – available to all Squiz Kids for Schools and Apple Subscribers … check out the links to free trials in today’s 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 Michigan in the United States where a pair of scientists are making great steps forward in pee-cycling …

What the what? You’ve heard of recycling right? This is pee-cycling, where human wee is being used to fertilise plants. 

Yep – you heard right. A couple of scientists at the University of Michigan have been experimenting with human wee as a sort of liquid fertilizer to make plants grow faster and stronger. 

Stop giggling. This is serious.

Human urine has all sorts of nutrients in it – which, in the right concentration, can help plants grow. And making fertilizers from a renewable, earth-friendly source like wee – is more sustainable than many of the chemical fertilizers that are otherwise used. 

And no, that doesn’t mean you can run out to the oval at lunch time and pee on the nearest tree trunk – honestly people … a little bit of decorum please.




Speaking of growing plants… for the very first time, scientists have grown plants in dirt collected from the moon! The American researchers had no idea if anything would grow in the lunar soil, which was collected by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin who walked on the moon more than 50 years ago, but they were curious to find out if future astronauts might be able to grow their own food in space. Amazingly, thale cress seeds sprouted in every single soil sample! Thale cress is an edible flowering plant used by biologists in lots of scientific experiments, because it’s easy to observe changes to the plant. 

And they did notice that the moon-dirt seedlings were a bit small and stunted… they think that’s because the soil had spent millions of years exposed to the cosmic radiation and solar winds of the moon. Astronauts might be able to grow stronger, healthier plants if they were to plant seeds in the dirt from lunar lava flows—which is younger soil. They could also experiment with lighting and fertiliser to get things going. Growing food on the moon… imagine that. 

[If you’re Squiz Kids for Schools member, you’re in luck! Amanda’s included lots more info on this story in your Classroom Companion. Educators, depending on which level you assign to your students, they’ll be working on asking open-ended questions; having subject and verb agree; turning direct speech into reported speech; and using relative clauses to create complex sentences. And because we’re talking about growing plants in space dirt, they are REALLY engaging… Try a 30-day free trial and you’ll see what I mean.]




Is there anything Aussie superstar soccer player Sam Kerr cannot do?

The all-conquering striker was the toast of London yesterday after kicking two goals to help her team Chelsea win the Women’s FA Cup in England.

Chelsea stormed home 3 goals to 2 against Manchester City in front of a 50,000 strong crowd at Wembley stadium .. with Australia’s wonderwoman holding aloft the FA Cup trophy at the end of the game to the adoring cheers of Chelsea fans. 

It caps off a pretty impressive week for Samantha May Kerr, originally from Fremantle, after she kicked two goals a week ago in the Women’s Super League final to also win THAT championship for her club Chelsea. 

Wowsers …. 

And the best bit? How humble she is about it all .. speaking to reporters after the game, Sam said she was just so honoured to be part of the Chelsea team. 

Sam Kerr – we salute you.  


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

1. In 1883, the volcanic island of Krakatoa erupted, one of the largest recorded eruptions in history … in which neighbouring country is Krakatoa located?

  1. Scientists have managed to grow plants in dirt that was retrieved 50 years ago from what heavenly body that appears in our night’s sky?
  2. Name the Aussie soccer star who slotted home two goals in the Womens’ FA Cup Final? 




It’s May 17 … on this day in history two very important books were published … The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900 and the rules for Australian Football League – that’s AFL to you and I – in 1859 .. i’ll let you decide which one is more important …

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … 

Dakota from Murrumbarrah, Zeki from Winthrop, Jayden from Abbotsford Public School and Max from Bonbeach.

Classroom shout outs go to…class 5B at Moorooka State School with Mrs Bland, Grade 4 and Mrs Leahy at Mt Carmel School in Yass, Year 6 and Mrs Brown at Thornleigh West Public School and finally a shout out to Year 6 at Craigburn Primary School and belated birthday wishes to their teacher Miss Fischer and classmate Rachel, for yesterday. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Indonesia
  2. Moon
  3. Sam Kerr