Wednesday, 16 June, 2021

Kids just want school in Africa; Pink snow in the Alps; Lego goes retro; and celebrating our community ambassadors.



Pink snow in the Alps:


Lego typewriter :


Fred Hollows Humanity Awards info:


Jersey Devil rollercoaster video:

Squiz Kids Instagram:

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






You go to school pretty much every day and don’t think too much about it, right? 

Well today’s a good day to stop and think about how lucky you are to have a school to go to at all. 

Because today is the International Day of The African Child – and according to the most recent estimates, of the tens of millions of children in the world who don’t have a school to go to every day, over half of them live on the continent of Africa. 

In some countries, the education system is so broken, there simply aren’t schools for kids to go to. In other countries, children are forced to fight in wars as child soldiers rather than go to school. 

The International Day of the African Child is marked every year on June 16 – because on this day in 1976 – so 45 years ago – black school kids in a township in South Africa called Soweto took to the streets to protest their lack of education.  

So the next time it feels like a drag to have to do that maths test or write that persuasive writing task – remember there are kids in countries all over Africa who can only dream of sitting in a classroom and getting an education. 

That’s my lecture for the day.  Now be nice to your teachers – and skip off to class with a spring in your step and a deep sense of gratitude.




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 Alps – the huge, snow-covered mountain range that marches across Europe – where there’s pink snow. 

Scientists think they have worked out why snow on top of the Alps is turning pink – and it’s got to do with climate change.

They believe that an algae lives in the snow. Algae is a kind of plant that lives in water. Even frozen water … which is what snow is. 

With every summer over the last few years, the snow has been turning more and more pink. And it’s believed that its because the algae in the snow produces a red pigment to act as a kind of sunscreen for when the summer sun beats down. 

I’ve stuck a link to photos of the pink snow in today’s episode notes. And yes. I know it looks like a raspberry flavoured snow cone – but i wouldn’t recommend eating it, just the same. 




Lego – that clever Danish toy company where everything is awesome – has gone retro in its latest design, releasing a brand new 2000-piece classic typewriter set. 

Ok – so what does ‘going retro’ mean? It means going back to the olden days – you know, like 40 years ago – long before you were born. A time before computers, where if you wanted to write something  and didn’t want to use a pen and paper, you’re only real alternative was a typewriter. A contraption that featured a keyboard – like you see on computers today – but instead of the letters appearing on a screen when you tap the keys, an arm would jump up out of the guts of the machine and imprint the letter on a piece of paper. And that was old skool typing. 

The Lego model of the classic typewriter very cleverly functions like the real thing .. as in, you can actually type with it. We used to get around in horse and cart too … and cook dinner on open fires. Nah – not really. 




And today, as the very excellent Fred Hollows Foundation launches its search for the community champions of tomorrow, we give a big Squiz Kids Salute to Kai Trott — a school kid from Windang in NSW – whose efforts last year during the height of the NSW COVID restrictions to check on neighbours, take part in a neighbourhood ANZAC Day celebrations and hand deliver gifts for Mother’s Day using his own cart – saw him win a Fred Hollows Humanity Award.  

The Humanity Award recognises Year 6 students who follow in the footsteps of Fred Hollows by making a positive difference in their community.

Fred was an eye doctor who dedicated his life to travelling Australia and around the world helping people who had lost their eyesight to see again.

Do you know – or are you a Year 6 Squiz Kid with a great story to tell about how you help your community? Then get involved. Nominations for this year’s awards close soon. See the link in today’s episode notes for more info. 




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

  1. On which continent do millions of kids not get to go to school each day?
  2. What’s the name of the mountain range in Europe where pink snow has begun to reappear?
  3. What funny old contraption has Lego recreated in its new 2000-piece set? 




It’s June 16 … 137 years ago today, the world’s very first roller coaster was unveiled, at a fun park in New York City called Coney Island. It was pretty small and not that scary .. unlike the new rollercoaster that’s just been opened in a theme park in the United States called the Jersey Devil – which is officially the world’s tallest rollercoaster and plummets 13 storeys straight down. There’s a link in today’s episode notes to video of the ride if you think your stomach is up to it ..

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Madison from Panorama, Farrah from Bitcon, Frankie from Ballina, Callum from Turramurra, Tilly from Abbotsford, Jorja from Spreyton, Rafael from Balmain, Justine from Melbourne, Dean from Geraldton and Miguel from Kingsgrove.   

And a belated birthday shout out to Monique from Ashmont, Willow from Abbotsford, Zoe from Lane Cove, Asher from Avalon, Nakeisha from Sydney and Annabel, who’s listening all the way over there in Whistler, Canada … I wish I was in Whistler in Canada …

And today’s classroom shoutouts go to … Class 3/4S at Broken Hill Primary School; Mrs B and class 6B from St Josephs in Kempsey , to class 6G at Forest Lake State School in Brissie – and their wonderful teacher Mrs Smith – and a special shout out to Harry in class 5E, his awesome teacher Stef, and all his schoolmates at North Melbourne Primary School .. you’ve had it tougher than most these past few weeks, but by all accounts you’ve come through with flying colours. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Africa
  2. The Alps
  3. A typewriter