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Tuesday, 3 May, 2022

Today's Exercises - Exclusive to Squiz Kids For Schools members

All eyes on the reserve bank; a four-year-old Formula One wannabe; bees doing maths; and the world’s longest plane flights.  

LINKS

Sensational World of Civics – Episode 1: Why Canberra? 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 


EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

 

THE LOWDOWN

If the adults in your life look a little anxious this morning, it could be because the Reserve Bank of Australia is meeting later today to decide whether to raise interest rates for the first time in more than ten years. Which is now going to take a LOT of explaining. Hang on… 

 

The Reserve Bank is our national bank, and its job is to keep the Australian economy stable, and Australians employed and financially comfortable. To do that, one of the bank’s biggest goals is to keep inflation low. 

What’s inflation? Great question. You know how inflating a balloon makes it bigger? Well, an inflated price is a higher price.

Inflation isn’t a problem if the amount you’re earning—for example, how much pocket money you get—increases at the same rate as the price of things—how much an ice cream costs. 

But lately in Australia, and especially during this federal election campaign, we’ve heard a lot about the increasing cost of living.  Things are costing more, and many people can’t afford it. Our inflation rate is currently at 5.1%… and the Reserve Bank is supposed to keep it between 2 and 3%. So, how can they lower inflation? By raising interest rates. 

An interest rate is the extra amount of money you pay to borrow money from a bank. If interest rates are higher, it means you have to pay back MORE to the bank, to borrow the same amount of money. That would make it more expensive for you to buy a new car, or house… and if fewer people are buying things, prices AND inflation are expected to go down. 

So… to deal with inflation, the Reserve Bank may raise interest rates today… and it will become a hot topic in the election. Complicated, isn’t it? 

 

SPIN THE GLOBE
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Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in the Netherlands, where police say they’ve found the next Max Verstappen, in the form of a four-year-old boy. 

For those of you who aren’t Formula One car racing fans, Max Verstappen is the current world champion, and also from the Netherlands. He’s known for being daring, resourceful, and occasionally having crashes. So he does have a lot in common with the little boy whom police picked up in the city of Utrecht after he’d gone on a joyride. 

In case you’re not getting it… we’re talking a four-year-old boy, barefoot and still wearing his jammies, who took his Mum’s car keys while she was sleeping, put them into the ignition, operated the clutch and accelerator, and took off. Police got a call about an abandoned car and found the kiddo nearby. It was only after they spoke to his Mum, and took him back to the car, that they understood that he was the driver, and really knew how to operate a manual vehicle!  Thankfully, no one was hurt. And yes, he smashed into a couple of parked cars… but as Max Verstappen knows all too well, the best drivers in the world sometimes have bingles.

 

ANIMAL KINGDOM

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There’s a lot of BUZZ among animal scientists about a new discovery, announced yesterday, that honeybees can tell the difference between odd and even numbers. (See what I did there? Buzz… bees… a Dad joke for you, in case you’re missing Bryce.) 

A group of Australian researchers knew that bees had some mathematical abilities, and wanted to investigate further. They split bees into two groups: one group learned to associate cards printed with even numbers with delicious sugar water, and odd numbers with bitter quinine liquid. The other group had sweet odd numbers, and bitter evens. Both groups quickly learned to tell the difference and fly only to the sweetness… making honeybees the only animals, other than humans, to demonstrate that mathematical understanding. 

Interestingly, the bees learned odd numbers faster than evens. Which is the opposite for most humans… I mean, we don’t say 1,3,5,7, bog in, don’t … Nope, doesn’t work.

 

BIGGEST, LONGEST, FURTHEST

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Here’s a fun job. At the end of this podcast, ask someone to set a timer for 20 hours. When the timer goes off, reflect on ALL the things you’ve done, and the places you’ve been, in those 20 hours. Then, imagine that you could have spent every single one of those 1,200 minutes on an aeroplane. 

Qantas is hoping you like that idea, because yesterday, the Australian airline announced that it had placed an order for 12 planes that will be able to fly non-stop from Sydney to anywhere in the world. The Sydney to London flight would last 20 hours which, you guessed it, will make it the LONGEST long-haul flight in the world. 

The new flights won’t start until 2025, and Qantas hopes to eventually fly the new planes out of Melbourne and Brisbane, too.  The big birds will have extra room in economy, but most of the seats will be in the more expensive sections. There’ll also be a “wellness zone” for exercising in the middle of the plane, so you don’t spend the entire time binge-watching.

THE S’QUIZ

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

  1. What is the Reserve Bank of Australia expected to raise today? 
  2. Which animals, other than humans, can tell the difference between odd and even numbers?   
  3. How many minutes in 20 long hours on a plane? 

 

 

SHOUT OUTS

——————-– 

 

It’s May 3… the anniversary of the first spam email, which was sent way back in 1978 to everyone on the west coast of America who had email… which was not many people at all. 

More importantly, it’s one more sleep before Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you… 

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

Sienna from Yarrawonga, Chloe from Perth and Haylie and Skye from Quirindi. 

A belated birthday wish goes to Emily from Maitland.

Classroom shoutouts go to…class 4D and Miss Kelly at Yarrabilba State School, year 4 with Mrs Ryan and Miss Annets at Gymea North Public School and class SPG at Manor Lakes College in Wyndham Vale. 

 

 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  • Interest rates
  • Honeybees
  • 1,200 minutes