Tuesday, 9 March, 2021

Girls are beating boys at school; Raccoons v. humans in Canada; the greatest dog race on Earth; and holidaying in space. 



Iditarod explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMJQnp-1FnM

Nat Geographic video on dog sled racing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nVfFNbxX7s

10,000 calorie hamburger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESR_6GfZ7rI


Space Hotel: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/voyager-station-space-hotel-scn/index.html


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

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






It was International Women’s Day yesterday, which seemed like a perfect time for a report to be published finding that overall girls are doing better at school and university than boys.

Go girls! 

The report found that in NSW, twice as many girls achieved top marks in the HSC than boys, while in Victoria, girls got higher marks in their Year 12 final exams too. 

And more girls than boys are going through to complete Year 12 around the country – with 89 percent of girls achieving the educational milestone compared to 81 percent of boys.

The report also found that in Year 9, girls are almost 10 months ahead of boys when it comes to reading skills, and while traditionally, there had been fewer girls than boys studying STEM subjects, more and more girls are throwing themselves into science and maths – and not only loving it, but finding they are really, really good at it. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today, we’ve landed in Toronto … Canada’s largest city. Where the locals are engaged in a daily face-off with raccoons thanks to the COVID lockdown there. 

Residents of Toronto have been confined to their homes much more over the last year as the city goes in and out of lockdown due to the coronavirus. And that’s meant there have been many more instances of them encountering the raccoons who nest in their ceilings or make a daily raid on their garbage bins searching for a feed. 

City authorities have reported a 62% increase in the number of raccoon attacks on humans. And they’re saying it’s all down to the fact that more people at home and not at work during the day increases the likelihood of people and raccoons – or trash pandas, as they are known by locals – crossing paths. And that’s a problem because not only can they hurt a person with scratching and biting, but they can also transmit serious diseases, like rabies.

Seems raccoons are none too pleased to have to share houses and backyards and garbage bins with pesky humans. 




You know why we love this time of the year at Squiz Kids? Because on the other side of the planet, our favourite event on the sporting calendar kicks off with the start of the Iditarod dog sled race. 

Held every year in Alaska, the race will see a group of 48 mushers – which is the name given to people who drive dog sleds – drive their team of huskies across the frozen landscape for anywhere up to 15 days in a race to see who can cover the 1400 kilometres from the Alaskan capital Anchorage to the tiny town of Nome.

The race started yesterday – and experts are saying thanks to the massive cold snap that has swept across North America, conditions are the snowiest and fluffiest and freezing-est – may not actually be a word – for a very long time. 

The record for the fastest race time is eight days, three hours and 40 minutes. And because the dogs do so much exercise, it’s estimated they eat 10,000 calories a day. The average adult human eats about 2000 calories a day – so that’s five times that. 

We’ll keep you updated on the race as it unfurls. But meanwhile, there’s a link to a video about the race in today’s episode notes. And just for a fun, a link as well to a video about a 10,000 calorie hamburger – which has to be seen to be believed.




Think about your next holiday destination. Maybe a driving holiday with the family, a bit of camping, a trip to the beach – or how about a trip to a hotel in space? 

That could well be a possibility in as little as six years’ time after a company in the United States has unveiled plans to build a hotel that hovers in orbit around the Earth.

Called the Voyager Station, the space hotel would feature all the same sorts of amenities as a normal hotel – except floating in space. Hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, swimming pools and gym – the space hotel would bring the hotel accommodation experience to life – in a zero gravity environment. Meaning that activities on offer would include a whole range of things you could only do in zero gravity. 

The best bit? That would have to be the views. Imagine staring out your hotel window at the Earth spinning by hundreds of kilometres below. 

All going well, the space hotel will be up and running by 2027.




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

  1. Raccoons have been taking on humans in which city in Canada?
  2. Through which frozen state of the USA does the Iditarod dog sled race pass?
  3. What’s the name of the space hotel being designed and built?




It’s March 9   … on this day in 1959, the very first Barbie doll was unveiled at the New York Toy Fair … two years later, on this day in 1961, the Russians sent a dog into space. These two events are not in the least bit related …

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Dee Dee from Shoal Bay, Amber and Ezra from Melbourne, Grace from Morningside and Kahlija from Glen Innes.

And some belated birthday shoutouts to… Alex from NSW, William from Exeter, Scott and Megan from Sydney, Tom and Harper from Bathurst and Chris from Ashmont.

Happy birthday one and all!

Today’s classroom shoutouts… Class 1D with Miss Down from Woodhill State School, Class 4A at Edithvale Primary School, Mr Anderson’s Foursome Ninjas at Manly State School, class 3V and Miss Vantarakis at Livingstone Primary School, and class 3OB at Ivanhoe Primary School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Toronto
  2. Alaska
  3. Voyager Station