Tuesday, 26 July, 2022

Pollies’ first day back; Japan’s volcanic eruption; Russia’s robot chess drama; and the Black Panther breaks the internet.



Brisbane Olympics – Digital Time Capsule: https://teamaus.olympics.com.au/ 


Find your member of Parliament: https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members

Sensational World Of Civics – A Squiz Kids Podcast Series: https://www.squizkids.com.au/civics/


When a chess robot attacks: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/jul/24/chess-robot-grabs-and-breaks-finger-of-seven-year-old-opponent-moscow 

Is chess a sport? Arguments for: https://www.chess.com/article/view/is-chess-a-sport 

Arguments against (with a tiny bit of spicy language): https://chessentials.com/is-chess-a-sport-i-think-not-and-heres-why/ 


Black Panther trailer: https://youtu.be/RlOB3UALvrQ


Want access to our Squiz Kids Shortcuts + Squiz The World podcasts? 

Teachers: Squiz Kids for Schools – Free 30 Day Trial: https://www.squizkids.com.au/squiz-kids-for-schools/

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


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





It’s the first day of a new sitting of Federal Parliament today – the opening of the 47th Parliament, in fact, of our fine country of Australia – and for 43 fresh-faced politicians – the first day in their new workplace. 

You remember back in May how there was a Federal Election? When Anthony Albanese and his Labor Party beat Scott Morrison’s Liberal and National Party Coalition to win the right to form government?

Well, all of those members of parliament will be in Canberra today – to mark the opening of a new Parliament – and get to work on representing the people who live in their communities. 

And for 43 of them – eight senators and 35 new members of the House of Representatives – they’re parliamentary first-timers. Meaning, it will be a little bit like the first day of school for them as they learn the routines and schedules of Federal Parliament – as well as work out how to navigate their way from their new offices around the maze of corridors that make up Parliament House on Canberra’s Capital Hill.

Each of them will also be making what’s called a ‘maiden speech’ – which is their first speech to Parliament. That’s when they stand up and make a speech letting all of Australia know who they are, where they’ve come from and what they hope to achieve by being there. Nerve-wracking, or what?

Maybe you live in an electorate which has voted to send a new member of Parliament to Canberra? Maybe your member of parliament is a long-termer – meaning they’ve been there before. Maybe you know that person’s name? Maybe you don’t. If you’re keen to find out – and know who’s in Canberra as your voice in the Australian Parliament – I’ve stuck some handy links in your episode notes.

I’ve also stuck in a link to our excellent series of podcasts called The Sensational World Of Civics – made in conjunction with the Museum of Australian Democracy … a fun, four-part series explaining our democratic system – and how you can be a part of it. It’s honestly heaps more interesting than it sounds … promise.


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 … on the island of Kyushu to be precise, where a volcano has erupted forcing the evacuation of dozens of homes. 

TV footage from Japan shows the Sakurajima volcano spitting out red hot rocks and dark plumes of smoke – enough to prompt dozens of nearby residents to flee their homes. 

According to news reports, red hot volcanic rocks were sent up into the sky and came crashing down to earth two and a half kilometres away from the volcano … yikes.

Sakurajima is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes – which is to say it rumbles away on a pretty regular basis … back in 2019 it sent volcanic ash 5 kilometres up into the sky. 

Which reminds me: we did an excellent Squiz Kids Shortcut on Volcanoes and Earthquakes .. an excellent ten minute deep dive into the science of the world’s shifting tectonic plates … don’t forget the back catalogue of our entire library of Shortcuts is available to all classrooms who are SK4S subscribers – or any parents who sign up to our Apple Subscriber Specials – links to free trials of both are in today’s episode notes.



There’s been some astonishing news from the sport of c hess out of Russia – yes, the International Olympic Committee says it’s a sport. A chess robot playing at a tournament in the capital, Moscow, has grabbed and broken the finger of its seven-year-old opponent! Video of the incident – which is, of course, in your episode notes – first shows the robot capturing one of its young victim’s pieces. The boy makes a quick move to respond, picking up one of his pieces before the robot grabs his hand with its metal fingers! It took adults about 15 seconds to free him – by which time his finger was broken. 

One Russian Chess Federation official said that the robot had performed safely at many tournaments, and that the boy had “violated”, which means broken, safety rules by making his move too quickly. But another official said that the makers of the robot would obviously have to “think again” about the software inside the chess-playing machine. 

The boy returned the next day to play the rest of his games with his finger in a cast—but apparently, his parents are considering pressing charges. Who knew chess was a violent, contact sport? 

Aha – it’s the Classroom Companion Clarion … Squiz Kids’ resident teacher Amanda has prepared some great, differentiated activities on this story for students to work with. Partners will debate whether chess is really a sport, and whether the parents’ and officials’ reactions were appropriate; and then, depending on their level, students will work with antonyms, pronouns, or sentence starters. Teachers will tell you that students learn better when they’re engaged, and what’s more engaging than a chess robot attack? The Classroom Companion comes as part of a subscription to our classroom resource offering – Squiz Kids for Schools – or to parents via our Apple Subscriber Specials – links, as i’ve said already, to free trials of both in today’s episode notes. 



There was a lot to get excited about after Comic Con in San Diego at the weekend – but for my money, the release of the Black Panther 2 teaser – the long-awaited Wakanda Forever movie – would have to have been the highlight.

And judging by the 16 million views the teaser trailer had on YouTube in the space of only 24 hours – it would seem I’m not the only one. 

Comic Con is a big conference that takes place every year – where fans of superhero movies and other TV and film adaptations of comic book or fantasy stories come face to face with the Hollywood stars who bring those stories to life on the big and small screen. 

As well as the Black Panther teaser – a link to which I’ve stuck in today’s episode notes – there was the news that the Game of Thrones prequel will feature no fewer than 17 dragons, there are multiple new Avengers films being made – including a Captain America series – and actor Paul Rudd will be back with another Ant Man film. Marvel-tastic..




Before we get into the S’quiz, we have a special message from the Australian  Olympic Committee… who are making a Digital Time Capsule of kids who dream of being part of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic & Paralympic Games

You know what a time capsule is, right? It’s something you create today, to look back on in ten, twenty, fifty or a hundred years’ time. 

And the Australian Olympic Committee wants YOU to record a video and submit it for inclusion in their Digital Time Capsule.

A video of you describing how you’d like to be a part of 2032 Games. 

It could be as an athlete, a volunteer, a team doctor, a dancer in the opening ceremony or even an engineer who helps to build the stadiums. There is a role for everyone to be a part of Brisbane 2032.

To be part of the Digital Time Capsule, you just need to upload your video to https://teamaus.olympics.com.au/ and voila! – you could be watching that video back in 10 years’ time. And kids, don’t forget to dream big! … I’ve stuck a link to the time capsule in today’s episode notes.”



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

  1. In which Australian city is Capitol Hill – the location of Federal Parliament?
  2. Name the Marvel superhero whose teaser trailer has broken the internet?
  3. In which country did a robot break the finger of its 7 year-old chess playing opponent?




It’s July 26… birthday of New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern … it’s also the anniversary of the day, 157 years ago when the capital of New Zealand moved from Auckland to Wellington .. so how about that? 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Josh from Exeter, Zac from Tumut, Parker from Craigburn, Alliyah from Cannon Hill, Sibilla from Kensington, Piper from Vaucluse, Dora from McKinnon and Amy from Kareela. 

And today’s classroom shoutouts are going to … our special friends in year 5 at Exeter Public School, class 6M and Miss Murphy at Rooty Hill Public School, class 4S at Beacon Hill Public School, class 5/6H with Ms Viney and Mr Farrow at Shoalhaven Heads Primary School and lastly to class 6TF at Clairvaux Catholic School in Geelong – who are currently working on writing, recording and producing their own podcasts about how Australia is different to other countries around the world. Please send us a copy when it’s done! 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Canberra
  2. Black Panther
  3. Russia