Wednesday, 27 October, 2021

Net zero explained; China outlaws homework; Squiz-E the newshound strikes again; and the best cupcake recipe ever!



Rosie’s Recipes:

Sierra’s Chcolate Cupcakes: ​​


Squiz Kids Instagram:

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There was a little bit of history made in Canberra yesterday, with the announcement by our Prime Minister that he would be heading to this weekend’s big global climate summit in Glasgow planning to tell his fellow world leaders that Australia is committed to something called ‘net zero’ by the year 2050.

So what in the wide world of climate change does that even mean?

‘Net zero’ means that we will remove  from the atmosphere the same amount of greenhouse gases as we are putting into it. 

Think of it as a set of scales. If Australia and countries like America and China and so many more can take out of the Earth’s atmosphere the same amount of carbon dioxide as we are putting into it – by driving electric cars, saving trees, or using more solar power, for example – then we might be able to stop the world from warming up to levels we don’t want to see. 

​​ Why is this historic? Because for almost 15 years now – the two sides of Australian politics have had very different ideas about how to handle climate change’. But now, they agree with one another. And that can hopefully only be a good thing for our country and our planet. Next stop, Glasgow … 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in China, where homework has been outlawed. Yeee-ha! What does ‘outlawed’ mean? It means a law has been passed banning it. And ok – the Chinese government hasn’t banned homework altogether, but it has passed a law saying that teachers cannot hand out too much homework .. because of the stress it was causing to kids. 

Now before you get any ideas: the amount of homework done by the average school student in China is much, much more than the average school student in Australia. So this is just an attempt by the Chinese government to dial things back a bit. The Chinese government has been on a push lately to try to make life easier for parents—in August written exams for six and seven year olds were banned, as communities are encouraged to get kids away from the books and outside playing.  

Before you start packing your bags and moving to China though – the government there is also passing laws to restrict the hours kids spend on the internet online gaming. So, you know ..  




It’s Media Literacy Week all over Australia this week … so we’ve got Squiz E working overtime to sniff out fishy stories on the internet … Speaking of homework, Squiz-E has found a video doing the rounds of social media claiming that homework spelled backwards — is the Latin word for “child abuse”. It’s had hundreds of thousands of views and shares on social media! 

But is there any proof to back up this claim? We set Squiz E to work, and ge Googled krowemoh – which is homework spelled backwards –  the first resul he got was to something called the Urban Dictionary – which contains the child abuse claim.

But Squiz E knows to practice what media literacy experts call “click restraint”. Which means don’t just click on the first result! Keep scrolling down, and see what else you can find. Because on that same Google search are LOTS of reputable sites—reputable means well known, with a good reputation—explaining that this post started as a joke, but was then shared by people who thought it was true. 

As Squiz-E says each week: a good newshound knows to stop, think and check. Who’s giving us the information? What have they got to gain by telling it to us? Homework may not be the highlight of your week, but it’s also not Latin for child abuse. 

Thanks, Squiz-E!



Ah .. hello old friend … new listeners to Squiz Kids may not be familiar with this segment – as it’s been a long time since we’ve featured it .. but this is an old favourite – where we ask you, the listener to send in a favourite recipe. And instead of getting Rosie to make it – we’re inviting you – the listener – to make it at home, take a photo of the finished product and send in the recipe and photos – which we’ll feature on the Squiz Kids website. And kicking off the new format Rosie’s Recipes is Sierra from Erskineville in Sydney, who’s sent in her scrum-diddly-umptious cupcake recipe. The secret ingredient, according to Sierra, is cacao – which is the bean that’s used to make chocolate. The most magical bean in the world .. I’ve stuck a link to Sierra’s cupcakes – and a lovely photo of Sierra – in today’s episode notes – or you can find it all at – under the ‘More Fun Stuff’ tab.




Hey teachers … don’t forget… to celebrate World Teacher’s Day this coming Friday, we’re offering a year’s subscription to Squiz Kids for Schools to a lucky school whose teacher signs up to our free trial before the end of the week. Depending on the size of your school – that’s a prize value of $3,000 … Squiz Kids for Schools gives you and your classroom access to a set of classroom resources – of varying skill level, put together each day by our in-house teacher, Amanda – and tied to the daily podcast. A great way to extend your kids – extend the usefulness of our free daily podcast – and deepen their curiosity in the world around them. Sign up for at But hurry – you’ve only got three days to go.




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

  1. What’s the expression in climate change speak for removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as you put into it?
  2. Which country has passed a law against too much homework?
  3. Sierra’s cupcakes secret ingredient is the extract of a bean that’s used to make chocolate .. what is that bean called?




It’s October 27 .. it’s our 401st episode of Squiz Kids … (CHEER) … I meant to note the 400th episode yesterday but 401 has a ring to it too, don’t you think? 

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

Ethan from Lysterfield, Teddy from Manly, Gabriella from Rochedale, Tiger from Newcastle East, Kylan and David from Bathurst and Jaiden who – get this – is listening all the way over there in Mongolia. Which is possibly the most exotic place we’ve ever had a listener … hello Jaiden! 

And because we’re all transitioning back to the classroom (CHEER) … we’re taking all the home learning herogram requests you’ve sent in and are turning them into classroom shout outs … 

Classroom shout outs today go to Year 6 at St Thomas More Catholic Primary School in Ruse and a very happy birthday to their principal, Mr Barrington.

Also shout outs to Miss Vales Grade 1/2 Kookaburra class at Mount Evelyn Christian School, Year 3 and Mrs Pass from North Ainslie Primary School, to Year 5 /6 and Miss Nielson at Leeton Public School and to all of Year 5 at Macarthur Anglican School in Greater Sydney.  

Classroom shout outs also class MG6 and Mr Dean at All Saints’ College St. Peter’s Campus in Maitland – Mr Dean is also known as “Mr Bean” for his enthusiasm and really funny dance moves.  Shout outs to class 5W and Mr Watts at Pennant Hills Public School and all of Year 5 and Miss Walker at St Helens Park Public School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Net zero
  2. China
  3. Cacao