Tuesday, June 6, 2023

School life in war torn Ukraine; An unusual Guinness World Record; Milestone for a monster croc; and message in a bottle in outer space. 


Ukraine kids finishing school: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-06-05/evidence-suggests-russia-targeting-ukraine-schools/102424458

Zoey the dog and her long tongue: https://www.ndtv.com/offbeat/video-us-dog-achieves-guinness-world-record-for-longest-tongue-measuring-12-7cm-4093444

Cassius the Crocodile turns 120:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-06-05/cassius-worlds-largest-crocodile-120th-birthday-green-island/102435256

Space age message in a bottle: https://europa.nasa.gov/message-in-a-bottle/sign-on/

Squiz Kids Book Club: https://www.squizkids.com.au/book_club/may-2023/

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Picture this; High school students in the final year before graduation.  Celebrating, singing, dancing, signing friend’s jerseys with joy in the air, proud of their achievements.  While this is what happens for many in their senior year, it’s a very different reality for students in the war torn country of Ukraine as students there prepare for the end of another schooling year.

In one school, in the city of Kharkiv, there are just 8 students left.  This is just a fraction of their entire year – many of whom have fled for safety.

These 8 students have come together in their school’s courtyard – rehearsing a dance routine, which is a tradition for school leavers in Ukraine.  

The teenagers are only allowed in the outside grounds of the school, no one has been allowed inside school buildings since the war broke out in February last year, as it is too dangerous.  Their school has already been struck by Russian missiles.

Despite all that they have been through, the class of 2023 has high hopes for the future. Of the final eight, twins Misha and Maksym are hoping to graduate and become   a computer programmer and a translator. But as the war in their country stretches into its 17th month, with no end in sight, it’s worth stopping to reflect how lucky we are here to even be able to go to school every day. Makes you think, doesn’t 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 Louisiana – a state in the deep south of America, where a dog has made it into the Guinness World Records.  And for what achievement I hear you ask?  Because she has the world’s longest tongue for a dog.  Yes tongue!  Stick your tongue out.  Yours would be a couple of centimetres long.  This pooch, her name is Zoey, and her tongue is a whopping 12 centimetres long.  You might need to take a look at a ruler just to see how long that is.  Also if you want to take a look at Zoey, I’ll put a link in the episode notes.

Zoey is a Labrador German Shepherd mix, and her owners noticed her unusually long tongue when she was a tiny pup.  They thought she would just grow into it, but as Zoey has grown, her tongue has grown too.  Zoey’s neighbours say she is a friendly pup and is known to greet them with a big lick – and lots of slobber.  Ewwwww. 




Straight from the dog’s mouth and into the snout of a croc.. That’s Cassius the croc who has just turned 120 years old.  

Cassius lives in the Marineline Crocodile Park on Green Island in Queensland and not only is he one of the oldest crocs, he is also the biggest crocodile in the world in captivity, measuring 5 point 48 metres long. 

Cassius was captured near Darwin back in 1984 after it was suspected he might be the reason cows were going missing from a nearby cattle station.  Now, are you reading between the lines here, or do I need to explain?  Cassius the naughty croc was feasting on the cows. So the owners of the cattle station called in the croc wranglers for help. From there he was hauled on a truck and on a boat over to the Great Barrier Reef, where he has lived ever since.  

He is described as a ‘huge gnarly monster of a croc’ And boy he is.  I’ll put a link in your episode notes so you can have a look.

Now take a guess at what Cassius will be having for his big day?  A Tuna or Chicken birthday cake.  



How would you like to send a message in a bottle …. into outer space? Because that’s what the big American space agency NASA is offering every single human on the planet when it sends a spaceship to one of Jupiter’s moons later next year.

Plans are underway to send a spaceship about the size of a basketball court the 2.6 billion kilometres it is from Earth to a moon called Europa – which is one of Jupiter’s 92 moons. 

And aboard that spaceship will be a microchip – with two things on it. The first is a poem, the second is a very long list of names of humans on Planet Earth. 

By sending a simple email to NASA – anyone’s name can be added to what is being described as a hi-tech message in a bottle. Who knows what alien life form might be out there – who might maybe, possibly receive and decode the microchip? To read a poem .. and long list of names. It’s crazy stuff, when you think about it.

What’s the point of sending a list of names into outer space? It’s really just a way of getting as many people on the planet as possible involved in NASA’s ongoing search for signs of life in outer space. 

Why do you need a spaceship the size of a basketball court to send a microchip into space? Because the space ship will be packed with all manner of scientific instruments and machines that go beep – as astronomers continue to piece together a clearer picture of what’s going on on the planets in our solar system.

I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to how you can add your name to this space age message in a bottle. You’re welcome.




Are you a keen reader? A bit of a book worm? And would you like to hear yourself on a Squiz Kids podcast? We’d love to hear you too! And it’s really easy. Just get involved in the Squiz Kids Book Club.

All you need to do, is go to squizkids.com.au, find the ‘more fun stuff’ menu, and sign up to be part of Catch the Reading Bug’s Crew of reviewers. 

Each month, we’ll be talking about two super cool books; and this month it’s ‘The Wolves of Greycoat Hall by Lucinda Gifford and ‘Twitch’ by M.G. Leonard. 

I’ve stuck links to both of them in today’s episode notes. 

So what are you waiting for? Sign up and get reading!


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

  1. This is an easy one to start off, what Guinness World Record does Zoey the dog have?
  1. Along with a long list of names, what else is NASA sending onboard a spaceship to one of Jupiter’s moons?
  2. How old is Cassius the croc turning?  




It’s June 6  – The day Queensland celebrates its birthday.  Yes the state Queensland, because on this day back in 1859 it officially separated from New South Wales. Which, in the midst of a State of Origin series, it’s kind of funny to imagine the two states used to be one…  

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

Finn from Yass, Archer from Flagstaff Hill, Wynner from Brisbane, Mia from Caversham, Max from Parkinson, Sanuth from City Beach, Alexander from Baulkham Hills, Logan from Goulburn South, Jack from Lake Bolac, Atari from Niddrie, Posie from Townsville and Dakota and Victoria from Pitt Town. 

And today’s Classroom Shoutouts go to … class 5/6H and Miss Nguyen at Harrington Street Public School in Cabramatta West, class 4/5 and Ms Lukong at Maitland Lutheran School in South Australia, class 3/4M and Miss McFarlane at Mount Riverview Public School, class 6W and Mr T at Parramatta East Public School, Mr Tarry and Mrs Tully’s classes at Iona Public School and lastly to class 3A at Gardenvale Primary School in Brighton East.  


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. The dog with the longest tounge
  2. A poem
  3. 120


Don’t forget .. if you’ve got a birthday coming up and you want a shout out  – or if you want a classroom shout out – drop us a line at [email protected] or fill out the form on our website. 


That’s all we have time for. Thanks for listening to Squiz Kids Today – we’ll be back again tomorrow.

In the meantime, get out there and have a most excellent day.  Over and out.