Wednesday, 11 August, 2021

Planet Earth needs you!; inside an ancient fast food joint; Percy draws a blank; and Australia’s own dinosaur dragon.  



How newspapers around the world reported the climate news

Pompeii’s fast food joint :

Australia’s not-exactly-a-dragon: 

Paralympics Q+A

A two-minute introduction to goalball: 

Tyan Taylor’s training routine and support crew:

Squiz Kids Instagram:

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

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





It’s report card time … that moment when as humans, we receive our report card on how well we’ve been looking after the Earth … and the grades are not great.

A group of the world’s smartest scientists in the study of climate change released a report yesterday that warned unless we take some pretty urgent action now, the planet we live on will start to change dramatically … and not for the better.

The group is called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change –  or IPCC – and it has issued what’s been called a ‘code red for humanity’ when it comes to climate change. 

According to the report, unless we make some pretty serious changes to the way we live,  heatwaves, droughts, flooding and extreme weather events are going to become more and more common. 

World leaders will get together in the Scottish city of Glasgow later this year to discuss the report: and hopefully start to make plans to turn things around.

The upside? It’s not too late. And the more work that your generation does, the passion and conviction you bring to making things better – and to convincing people my age to pull up their socks – the better things will get. 


Right now we only need to look to the islands of Greece, in Europe and the state of California in the United States to see how destructive Mother Nature can get if she’s unsettled. 

Wildfires have been burning out of control in Greece, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes – while in California, the Dixie fire has been burning for almost a month, devastating forests as the state swelters in 38 degree temperatures. 

Many have drawn the link between the fire catastrophes and climate change. I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to the front pages of newspapers around the world – and how they’ve used the Greek fires to illustrate the story of the IPCC report. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Pompeii, in Italy … where archeologists have uncovered an ancient fast food joint … 

Pompeii is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy. Hundreds of years ago, the town was frozen in time when a nearby volcano, Mt Vesuvius suddenly erupted. The eruption buried the place in lava and ash – which is where it sat disturbed until archaeologists started to excavate.

Archaeologists are people who dig up evidence of how life was lived hundreds of years ago. 

And the latest discovery is an old snack bar .. a place where the people of Pompeii would have gone to have a quick bite to eat. A sort of Maccas of the ancient world. Except this one served snails, duck, pigs and goat. Hmm .. a McGoat burger … or a Filet-o-Snail … why not?

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to photos of the old fast food joint. 



Take a bow Queensland … you have your very own dragon!

Well, you HAD your very own dragon … like, 150 million years ago. An ancient fossil found in the Queensland outback was yesterday being hailed as evidence that a long, long time ago, when most of outback Queensland was covered by an inland sea – if you can believe it – a dragon-type dinosaur flew high above it. 

Showing off the jaw bone of the pterosaur yesterday – which is the name given to flying dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period – the scientists who discovered it said it had a mouth like a spear, filled with savage teeth, and it flew across the skies on a wingspan of 7 metres. (If you hold out your own arms, that’s a little over one metre. Multiply that by seven, and you get why this creature would have been super scary.) 

The pterosaur would have flown over the inland sea, swooping down to scoop up fish. Awesome! 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a photo of the fossil..




Percy’s gone and pulled up a blank …. Remember how we’ve been following the progress of Percy – the Mars rover? He’s been up on Mars now for a couple of months, roaming about the place, and this week he set about drilling into some rocks to collect a sample to eventually send back to Earth for scientists to study for signs of life.

Well everything went to plan. Percy found the right spot, Percy drilled down into the rock, all of the robotic arms that were supposed to collect the rock and drop into the special test tube did their job. But somewhere along the way, something didn’t quite work – with NASA yesterday confirming the test tube was empty. 

But this is how scientific experiments work. Behind every success, there are multiple attempts and multiple failures. And Percy is just going to keep on going, and fine tuning the rock collection process, until he gets it right. His name, afterall, is short for Perseverance … 




Can you imagine playing your chosen sport with a blindfold on? That’s basically what three-time goalball Paralympian Tyan (tee-ahn) Taylor does, as she hurls herself at a ball with little bells inside it. Tyan – who’s one of Australia’s best Paralympians – has kindly agreed to take the Squiz Kids Q+A hotseat before she leaves for Tokyo –(cheer) this is your chance to get the inside running on how one of the world’s biggest sporting events works. What inspires her as an athlete? How does she train? How do you train when you are visually-impaired? Who are her sporting heroes and why? Send in your questions before Friday to [email protected] – and don’t forget to check out the cool goalball explainer video in the episode notes.



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

  1. What is the name of the ancient town in Italy that is preserved in lava and volcanic ash?
  2. In which state of Australia have the fossilised remains of a pterosaur been found?
  3. Our next guest in the Q+A hotseat, Taryn Taylor, competes in what Paralympic sport?




It’s August 11… birthday of Thor actor, Chris Hemsworth, and kids author, Enid Blyton.

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Rebecca from Woongarrah, Riley from Greystanes, Sophie from Habana, Emma from Cherrybrook, Lucia from Whale Beach, Max from Eden Hill, Tye from Shoal Bay, Ryan from Munno Para, Akein from Glen Waverley, 

Knox from Canberra and also twins Tom & Ben from Canberra and lastly Chelsea and Stella from Albany Hills.

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Victoria and Greater Sydney are still in lockdown – we’re continuing to send out Home Learning Herograms …

First up, my buddy Owen wants to send a shout out to classes 4W and 4B and teachers Mrs O’Connell, Mrs Jones and Mrs Fountain at St John’s, Narraweena – and Owen wants to say thanks to his home-school teacher – Mr Tanaka … who i think might be his dad ..

Also a shout out to Hamish, Genevieve and Esther of East Gosford who are doing a fantastic job of home learning.  Jade in Class 4B at Turramurra Public School sends a herogram to her teacher Mr Brushino and says thank you for your amazing and funny videos everyday.  And one last herogram to Mrs Dossetto and class 6D at Engadine West Public School.

Plus a couple of classroom shout outs to those of you not in lockdown…

Class 5M and Miss Millgate at Sherwood Public School, to Mrs Fairley and her Grade 6 students at Deception Bay Public School and to all the Year 3 students at Carine Primary School in Western Australia. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Pompeii
  2. Queensland
  3. Goal ball