Wednesday, 2 June, 2021

Here come electric cars; New Zealand’s Operation Hedgehog; Naomi Osaka out of French Open; and Perth’s hero Dad.



Remember to answer in full sentences, with lots of good details! 

1) What did you think and feel when you heard your state was going into lockdown again? 

2) If you could talk to the Coronavirus, what would you say to it? 

3) What advice would you give to kids who feel scared or sad about Coronavirus and lockdown? 

4) What’s the silliest or most fun thing your family does to pass the time in lockdown? 

5) What’s the first thing you will do when you get out of lockdown? 

What To Do:

Get a big person in your house to sit down and record the questions and your answers on a smart device (a phone or tablet, for example). Try to do it somewhere quiet! And remember to make sure when you speak, you’re nice and close to the microphone! Then email the audio file to [email protected] – and listen all this week to see if you’ve been featured!

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.





The car you may be sitting in now listening to this podcast, or the one sitting in the garage at home is more than likely to use petrol or diesel as fuel.

But by the time most of you are old enough to buy your first car, there’s a very good chance the road will be full of electric vehicles. 

That’s the prediction from the world’s largest car makers, with each one of them preparing to stop making cars that guzzle petrol – and put greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 

Jaguar plans to sell only electric vehicles by 2025. Volvo by 2030. 

Ford expects all vehicles it sells in Europe to be electric by 2030 – and VW reckons 70% of all cars it sells in nine year’s time will be plugged in for power rather than pumped full of petrol.

Why is that a thing? Because cars have mostly been powered by something called the internal combustion engine for over 100 years. But with the advance of technology and science – and the passing of laws in many countries to limit the amount of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere – there’s a big change afoot. Vroom vroom. 

It’s kind of chilly out there isn’t it? And we’ve only just hit winter. But despite having the coldest autumn in six years – Australia looks set to be in for the warmest winter in a while – with the weather bureau yesterday predicting milder than usual winter temperatures. Thanks to something called the El Nino Southern Oscillation – which sounds like a cool dance move – coastal areas in particular should expect warmer than average days and higher than average night time temperatures. I’m not taking the electric blanket off yet, just the same.  



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in New Zealand – across the ditch with our cuzzy bros – where hedgehogs are looking nervously over their spiny little shoulders. 

Hedgehogs are an introduced species in New Zealand – they were brought over from Britain in the 1800s for English settlers wanting to be reminded of home. Problem is though: hedgehogs have no natural predators in New Zealand, and so they have thrived. And now there are so many of them – they have become a pest – and are starting to eat native lizards and insects and birds eggs – such that the NZ government has decided it’s time to step in and reduce their numbers. 

The New Zealand government is currently running a campaign to remove from the ecosystem all introduced predators by 2050 – so that native animals have a chance to flourish. 




The world’s number two women’s tennis player, Naomi Osaka has bowed out of the French Open in Paris after refusing to take part in post-match press conferences – and legends of the game have come out in support.

The all-conquering Naomi revealed that answering questions from journalists after games made her anxious – and that for the sake of her mental health – she had decided to drop out of the tournament.

Some of the biggest names in women’s tennis, including former champs Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean congratulated Naomi on putting her mental health ahead of winning a tennis match. Further evidence that Naomi Osaka is a new kind of sporting hero. 




So remember yesterday we brought you the story of the dad and daughter who swam for five nautical miles before being rescued after their boat hit a reef off the coast of Western Australia. Well there was excellent news yesterday that the 11 yo girl, Ruby was in hospital and expected to make a full recovery – while her Dad told reporters that even when rescue planes were flying overhead and not spotting them bobbing about in the open ocean in their lifejackets – he kept telling his daughter everything was going to be fine and to just keep swimming. “There was no way I was going to give up,” he said yesterday. ““It’s a parenting thing that just kicked in. I kept saying to her we’re gonna make it no matter what and yeah, we made it.” You sure did – and Squiz Kids salutes you both.


My Lockdown Life 


All this week, we’ve been encouraging Squiz Kids in Victoria to share their thoughts with us about life in lockdown. On Friday, we’ll have a special bonus episode featuring their sometimes hilarious, always heartfelt answers to the five questions posted in the episode notes. Today, we thought you’d like to hear just a couple of the responses we got to question three: What advice would you give to kids who feel scared or sad about Coronavirus and lockdown?  


A huge shoutout to Zoe, Louis, Molly, Tavish and Ellie … and if you live in Victoria and want to hear YOUR voice on Squiz Kids, share a snippet of your lockdown life! We’ve stuck the five questions in the episode notes. Just record yourself answering them and email the audio file through to [email protected]. Then you’ll hear yourself in our special My Lockdown Life episode, dropping on Friday.  




Attention school principals … Squiz Kids needs you! 

We talk a lot to Squiz Kids and their excellent parents, carers and classroom teachers. But we have some really important questions we need to put to school principals that will help us make Squiz Kids bigger and better. So if you’re a school principal – and you think Squiz Kids is a valuable resource for your students and teachers – please get in touch with us directly by emailing [email protected] with your name, your school and a contact number. And if you’re a parent or teacher who loves Squiz Kids and knows a school principal .. please give them a nudge to drop us a line. It’s really important and we’d really appreciate it. Thanks! 




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

  1. Cars powered by what energy source will inhabit the roads of the future?
  2. Which cute animal in New Zealand has become something of a pest?
  3. Name the top tennis player who’s withdrawn from the French Open?



It’s June 2 … birthday of Aussie cricketer, Steve Smith. 

It’s also a special day to these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Annabel from Exeter, Freya from Walpole, Lily from Currumbin, Ella from Brisbane, Saxon  from Port Douglas, Elliot from Albany Hill, Maddison from Googong, Sophia from Five Dock, and Hunter and Natalie who are both listening in from Singapore.

And today’s classroom shoutouts go to… class 3Q from Hassall Grove Public School, class 6F at St Brendan’s in Mackay, Class 4W with Mr Wood and class 5F with Miss Frendo at Emu Plains Public School, all the kids and teachers at Como West Public School, and class 3AW at Milgate Primary School in Doncaster, Victoria, where Evelyn sends a big hello to Miss Walker who she is missing this week during lockdown. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Electricity
  2. Hedgehogs
  3. Naomi Osaka