Tuesday, 29 November, 2022

School kids v rats in NZ; Protests spread in China; Mars bars go green; and celebrating the first ever video game.



Rat catchers of NZ – VIDEO (Warning: dead rats depicted): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IagGOsaonYk

Pong the video game – VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhd7FfGCdCo



Get started on our free media literacy resource for classrooms



Squiz Kids + Lego ‘Build To Give’ Christmas Campaign

Help Lego give away Lego sets to families in need this Christmas. 

  1. Build something using Lego
  2. Share your creation to Instagram (a story or a post)
  3. Tag @ squizkids and #buildtogive

We’ll re-share your post on our Instagram, and on December 9, reveal just how generous Squiz Kids are … 


Squiz Kids For Schools – Classroom Activities tied to the podcast

Sign up for a 30-day free trial at squizkids.com.au

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]






A group of school kids in New Zealand have taken conservation to a whole new level becoming expert rat catchers as part of a competition aimed at bringing kiwis back into their backyards.

At the very southern tip of New Zealand is an island called Stewart Island. It’s home to about 20,000 Kiwis, about 450 humans – and one single primary school.

The kids at that school recently took part in a rat catching competition – to see who could catch the most rats – as part of an effort to rid the island of introduced predators. 

You see – rats are a problem on Stewart Island. Most of New Zealand’s bird, including the kiwi, evolved without introduced species like rats, stoats and cats as predators. As a result they lay their eggs on the ground – which makes for an easy meal for rats. 

With the encouragement of their teacher, the kids at Halfmoon Bay primary school were all given rat traps and told to go and catch as many rats as they could in the course of 100 days.

Forty students caught more than 600 rats … with each kid competing for a series of prizes including for the most rats caught (that went to Bella, who caught 64 rats), a prize for the rat with the strangest tail, one for the rat with the biggest teeth, and a even one for the largest rat – which went to a rodent measuring 45 centimetres – so just under half a metre long. Eugh.

I’ve stuck a link to an awesome video news report in today’s episode notes – but be warned: it’s kind of gross. 

The junior rat-catcher program is all part of New Zealand’s impressive goal to become predator free by 2050 … we’re talking about the complete e-ratication of pests … get it? E-ratication … (DAD JOKE ALARM) … ah, yes, there’s that dad joke alarm .. always spoiling my fun … 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in China .. where a fire in a high-rise apartment building has led to a fire of protests around the country.

It all started when a fire broke out in an apartment building in a Chinese city and firefighters seemingly weren’t able to get close to it because of China’s strict COVID lockdown laws. 

Lots of people in China are angry with the government and its strict rules forcing people to stay indoors. And so protests have popped up all over the country. 

And now protestors have worked out a clever way to get their message across. They’ve been taking to the streets holding up a set of mathematical equations on pieces of paper. The equations have been identified as the Friedmann Equations – a set of equations that govern the expansion of space. But that’s not the point. The point seems to be that Friedmann sounds a lot like Free Man .. which these protestors seem to be suggesting they are not. 

Chinese authorities are notorious for censoring information and news. Censoring news means only showing bits you approve of. Not the whole story. But by holding up Friedmann equations, the question is whether the protestors have found a way to get around the censors and still get their message across…  




Video gamers .. today is a really important day. Because it was on this day, 50 years ago, that the very first video game was invented. It was called Pong – and it was super basic – like ridiculously basic – and I’ve stuck a link to video of it in today’s episode notes because you have to see it to properly understand how far we have come from the days of Pong to the days of Fortnite and Rocket League and NBA 2K that we know and love today.

Pong was created by a company called Atari – which was the Nintendo of its day – it was huge. And fun fact: it employed a young computer engineer by the name of Steve Jobs … who would go on to create a little company called Apple. 

The gaming industry is now worth a staggering $296 billion dollars – that’s billion with a ‘b’. And it all started with Pong. Happy Pong-iversary. 




Normally this segment is given over to people doing impressive things – but today I’m giving a Squiz Kids Salute to chocolate bars. One: because they’re delicious. And two: because the makers of some of our favourite choccy bars – think Mars bars, Snickers and Milky Ways – are swapping their plastic wrappers for something more environmentally friendly.

From April next year, the popular treats will stat appearing on supermarket shelves in a paper wrapper that you can pop straight into your recycling bin. How cool is that?

Just another reason to stuff your face with chocolate. In moderation of course … and alway as part of a balanced diet. You know the drill…




Hear those bells? That’s a reminder that we’ve only 10 days to go to bring some joy to families in need this Christmas.

What in the world of stocking-stuffers am I talking about? I’m talking about the Squiz Kids Christmas charity campaign in association with LEGO.

In a nutshell: for every build that’s created and shared to Instagram tagging Squiz Kids and using the hashtag BuildToGive – the generous folk at LEGO will give a LEGO set this Christmas to a family in need.

How cool is that?

And so it’s up to you how far we spread the Christmas joy this festive season. The more we build, the more families get a free LEGO set. 

Already we’ve had some awesome builds shared to our Instagram – @squizkids – and a huge thank you to all who’ve been busy building already. We’re currently at 180 builds – but I reckon Squiz Kids are more generous than that. I reckon if we put our minds to it, tell our friends, maybe make it an end-of-year classroom group activity – we can easily crack the 500 mark. Do we dare to dream we might even hit one thousand? 

And a big shout out to the Year 6s at Livingstone Primary School in Vermont South – who managed to mix maths and giving back to the community with a series of awesome builds – you guys rock!

So – don’t just sit there – get building! Create as many builds as you want – just be sure to tag @squizkids when you share a photo of it to Instagram and use the hashtag BuildToGive .. that’s ‘to’ … T-O – not the number 2.

Aaand … help ‘bring the joy’ this Christmas ..

I’ve stuck details in today’s episode notes ..


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

  1. Where in the world are protesters holding up signs with the Friedmann equations?
  2. What introduced species are school kids in New Zealand trying to eradicate?
  3. What was the name of the first ever video game?




It’s November 29 .. only 25 days until Xmas! Birthday of Little Women author Louisa May Alcott and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe author, C.S Lewis. Great books, both.

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

Ilsie from Pullenvale, Jack from Coburg, Ezra from Harrisdale, Mae from Adelaide and Lando from Wagga Wagga. 

Classroom shoutouts go to …  years 5 and 6 and Ms Ramsay at Warooka Primary School, class 6C and Mrs Hannant at Belmont State School, class 5/6M at Camden Public School, class 4P and Mrs Phillips at Floraville Public School, class 6T and 6B with Mr T and Mrs Brown at Elermore Vale Public School, class 4G at Glenbrook Public School, class 3/4E and Mrs Edwards at Marayong Public School, class 5/6BM with Ms Boundy and Mrs McMarn at Ellison Public School in Springwood, class 1/2L and class 3 at St Anthony’s Primary School in Canberra and lastly to class 3T at St Peter’s Lutheran College in Springfield and happy birthday to their teacher Ms PW.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. China
  2. Rats
  3. Pong