Wednesday, 15 March, 2023

Submarine shopping success; seaside resorts in central Africa; Ursula and Ariel make a splash; and a vaccine against misinformation. 



Today’s Quick Links: 

The Virginia Class Attack Submarine:

New fleet of 8 nuclear submarines:

The split of the African continent:

The Great Rift Valley: Where Africa is splitting in two:

Little Mermaid 2023 trailer:

Little Mermaid 1990:

How misinformation is like a virus:

Foolproof: the book about misinformation:

Dig Deeper:

History of the submarine:

Scientific paper showing the mechanism by which Africa will split:

Africa to be divided by a new ocean:

Video: Suswa Kenya is splitting:


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On Monday, we talked about Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s submarine shopping trip to San Diego. Well, I hope he took a big suitcase with him because the PM has announced that he has secured eight nuclear-powered submarines. 

Actually, he won’t be getting them straight away.  We’ll start by having more US and UK vessels visiting Australia, and Australian sailors will be invited to serve on those boats … to learn the ropes so to speak. But by the 2030s, Australia will receive three brand new Virginia Class submarines (I’ve put a link in your episode notes so you can take a look at them). By then, the PM hopes Australia will be ready to construct our own subs.

The whole agreement, which includes upgrading Australia’s defence force, shipyards, and other facilities, will cost more than $300 billion dollars, yep that’s billion with a ‘b’, over the next 30 years. So, if you’re thinking about what you might like to do when you leave school, the government says this agreement will create 20,000 jobs. They’ll need scientists, engineers, project managers, electricians, welders, and builders, as well as A LOT of new submariners to crew the boats. We’ll keep our periscope up and on the lookout for updates.



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 Great Rift Valley in Africa, where geologists say that the continent may eventually split in two! What!?

We’ve heard a lot about tectonic plates lately, and the Great Rift Valley is where the two enormous African and Arabian plates rub up against each other. The border, which is called a fault, is 7,000kms long and runs right through Africa. I’ve stuck a map in today’s episode notes so you can see just how huge it is.  

These plates have been moving apart for the last 30 million years, and recent data shows that this trend is likely to continue. This means eventually, Africa will split apart and countries like Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia, which are currently landlocked,  meaning that they have no coastline, will be exposed to the Indian ocean. 

But don’t go booking your seaside holidays just yet. At the current rate of separation, this probably won’t happen for at least 10 million years. 


A-ha — the Classroom Companion Clarion … indicating that today’s 

Classroom Companion worksheets are linked to this item in the podcast. And today it’s all about prediction and informative text. Teachers and home educators, if you haven’t already signed up to receive these free daily classroom resources, head to our website and get involved today. You’ll be glad you did.  




Amid all the showbiz of the Oscars ceremony on Monday, there was a little moment from a little mermaid that sent a shiver of excitement down the spines of every kid everywhere … I’m talking about the sneak peek the world got of the upcoming Little Mermaid live action remake – starring singer Halle Bailey. 

And how excited the world is to see a black actress playing the lead role – and the important blow it strikes for diversity. Afterall: you can’t be what you can’t see. 

I’ve stuck a link to the new trailer that was shown at the Oscars in today’s episode notes – and just for comparison, I’ve also stuck a link to the trailer from the original animation of the same movie, made all the way back in 1990 – long before any of you were born. It’s worth comparing and contrasting to see how far animation technology has come – and how lucky you guys are these days to see such incredible visual treats. 

And for your parents: they might be interested to know that the sixth film in the horror series Scream opened to its best box office in the franchise’s history at the weekend just gone. The first one was released waaaaay back in 1996 … 27 years ago … now tell me that doesn’t make you feel old.




Every Wednesday Squiz-E the Newshound sticks his snout into Squiz Kids HQ to report back on what fishy things he’s sniffed out on the internet this week.

And that bloodhound nose of his is twitching with excitement today following the release of a new book which likens fake news and misinformation to a virus. 

The book, called Foolproof – has been written by one of the smartest academics working in the fight against fake news – and it says research shows that misinformation moves through the population in the same way that a virus spreads between people. Somebody shares something with you, you share it with other people – before you know it, everyone is infected with the same virus.

But – in the same way you can protect yourself against a virus by getting vaccinated – the academic says teaching people about misinformation at a young age, teaching them to recognise it when they stumble across it – is like vaccinating them against it.

Which is exactly why we created Newshounds – our free media literacy podcast series for primary school children. If you’re a teacher or parent and keen to protect your children from misinformation and fake news – check it out via our website, or via the link in today’s episode notes. I’ve also stuck a link to the book in there … Thanks Squiz-E! (WOOF!) 



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

  1. Which continent could be split in two as tectonic plates move away from one another?
  2. A new book suggests misinformation gets passed from one person to another in the same way that a what does?
  3. Which animated movie, a remake of a 1990 classic, 




It’s March 15  – Also known as the Ides of March. If you think our politicians are sometimes badly behaved, spare a thought for Julius Caesar, an Ancient Roman politician who was literally stabbed in the back by his colleagues on this day in 44 BCE. A bad day at work for him.

But it is a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… 

Faith from Ashmont, Georgiana from Melbourne, Anna from Cherrybrook, Harper from Oak Park, Mackenzie D from Westbrook, Kimi from Oran Park, Jayden from Toukley, Taj from Clairvaux, Penelope from Balmoral, Noah from Matraville, Natalia from Cairns, Andrea from Sutherland, Tess from Manly and Jonas from Cornwall, England. 

Belated Shout outs go to… Jai from Cremorne, Kenny from Toukley, Charlee from Narellan, Spencer from NSW and Lara who’s listening all the way over there in China. 

Classroom shoutouts go to… Room 30 with Ms Rolls and Jude at Woodend Primary School in Adelaide, class 5T and Miss Turner at The Scots School in Albury, class 3C and Mrs Condie at Epping West Public School, class 2E and Mrs Ellis at Ambarvale Public School, class 5R and Mr McCan at St Paul’s Catholic Primary School in Albion Park and lastly to class 3W with Mrs W at the Holy Name Primary School in Forster. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Africa
  2. Virus
  3. The Little Mermaid