- Why This Name?
- Special Acknowledgement and Thanks
- About the Students
- About the Coaches
- Site Map
Why This Name?
As well a writing articles and plays and other duties, I (Noah) was also the member of the group who came up with the title of the site, No Strings Attached. At first I just thought it was a nifty, little pun that would serve well as the title for a website about puppets. But after more research and having our special guest speaker in, we found out that No Strings Attached is actually the name of a puppetry company. Great minds think alike!
I also think it is quite symbolic of this project and the work we produce as part of it. There are no strings attached when it comes to the Norwood “Aussie Stars” Team. We’re not heavily controlled or manipulated, our ideas are raw and original and it is up to the thinker to mold and shape that idea, not the other way around.
The team is fascinated by the global appeal of puppets and hope that this is conveyed to you, the reader, through our website.
Special Acknowledgement and Thanks
Our ThinkQuest journey has taken us on a very intensive ride. We knew that time would be against us but we were determined to finish our wonderful site on puppets. As with anything that requires collaboration and team work, there are special people who help others behind the scenes.
We would like to take the chance to thank the following people:
Tina Photakis, who believed in us and spent all of her free time at school with us, making sure that we were on task and getting our articles in by the deadline. Her support was never ending and her knowledge of Karagiozis was great. We had so much fun at the filming of the Karagiozis play. Tina’s experience with ThinkQuest also helped guide us through the rough patches.
Lisa McLaughlin, who supported us by giving us time to finish our ThinkQuest work. This helped us a lot as we did some work at home as well. Lisa was also learning about ThinkQuest with us. We thank her for all her support.
Sue de Leo for her lovely Burmese puppet, information and for all her support along the way.
Mark Herbert, who was our technical support friend and mentor. We learnt so much from Mark and we had fun on our TQ afternoons. He is such a patient person, always answering questions and making us feel like total experts.
Juniper, we thank you for your time, and for sharing your knowledge with us. We are in awe of your talent and gift in the designing of puppets.
Emmanuel Photakis for his invaluable help with our videos. And for testing our site on a Mac.
Nick Mangafas, who allowed us to use his images of such beautiful puppets. They were truly unique and we learnt so much from the photos. Nick lives in Austria and freelances in photography. He is very interested in ThinkQuest and thinks that it is a great opportunity for students, world wide.
Simon Marek, for all his help and feedback on our site.
Our parents and families who supported us when we had out of school meetings – we appreciate that wonderful support.
All About Me: Noah
Hi, my name’s Noah. I am an 11 year old boy and I’m in year 7 at Norwood Primary School.
When we decided that our websites topic would be puppets, I wasn’t sure about it. But after researching my articles and finding more out about the world of puppetry, I came to discover what a vast topic it is and what interesting things it includes.
While I have only been part of one puppet performance in my life, I am avidly involved in drama and musical theatre. Learning about puppets has broadened my knowledge of the performing arts and helped me to embrace other types of performance other than the ones that I am part of.
My ThinkQuest road has not been a terribly smooth one. For starters, our team had more time constraints than our competitors. But for me, that just gave me more drive to get the job done, and to the highest possible standard. This included me writing a Greek shadow puppet play – Karagiozis.
Overall, I think the journey has been enjoyable for many reasons. The experience of this process, and the challenge of it was amazing. I’ve learned so much, about research, writing, design, photo editing, and making web sites. It has established friendships between people I didn’t know so well, and strengthened the friendships with people I already knew. It has also given me a lot of knowledge and talents and I feel so proud and privileged to be a part of ThinkQuest.
I would like to thank our coaches, Tina and Lisa, without whom this site would not have happened. I would also like to thank my fellow team mates for working with me on this awesome site.
All About Me: Claudia
Hi, I’m Claudia. I am 12 years old and a year 7 student at Norwood Primary School. When Tina told my class about ThinkQuest, I was eager to join and I think that participating has been worthwhile because I have learnt many new things such as refining information and citing my resources correctly. I have also added to some of my other skills, like teamwork, time management and other responsibilities.
I enjoy playing my viola and listening to a wide variety of music from classical to contemporary. When I have some spare time, I like to play on the computer, draw or read.
To keep fit I like to hula-hoop or jump around on the trampoline. I am also a member of a Ukrainian folk dancing troupe. We have successfully performed at many multi-cultural events and public festivals.
When our team brainstormed for topics, puppets were suggested. The team decided to focus on puppets. Slowly, we teased out areas to focus on. We each picked topics that interested us and investigated them. The Aussie Stars team have put in a great amount of effort and had lots of fun along the way! I would like to take this opportunity to thank our coach, Tina, for working intensely with us so that we could finish our website content. Thanks also to Lisa, our Assistant Coach and to Mark who assisted us in the technical aspect of our website.
All About Me: Daniel
I’m Daniel and I’m in year seven at Norwood Primary School. Some of my hobbies include skate boarding, dancing (hip hop), listening to music, drawing graffiti (not on walls), art in general, rock climbing, singing and chatting with friends. I also enjoy going on think.com where I can interact with people from around the world in a very safe environment.
I also like playing computer games. Some of my favorite movies are Step up 1 and 2, the Harry Potter series , Style Wars (not Star Wars), KUNG POW, Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
I have really enjoyed my Think Quest journey. It has been a fantastic experience. Everything I wrote about I had no knowledge about before my ThinkQuest journey, except for Vietnamese water puppets. I’ve learnt so much, not just from my articles, but from reading the rest of the team’s articles as well. I hope you like them.
Also have a look at my corner; it’s really fun and interactive, in that you can try it out!
I’d like to thank our coaches, Tina and Lisa, who spent many hours supporting us. “See Tina nothing to be worried now – I’ve done all my articles.” Also, a special thank you to our wonderful technical support person, Mark.
All About Me: Jazz
Hi, I’m Jazz and I am a proud student at Norwood Primary School. I have been a student at Norwood Primary since reception, when I was 5. In 2008 I am happy to be part of Norwood Primary’s ThinkQuest team. I was inspired to become part of ThinkQuest when Tina returned from America when she chaperoned one of the winning teams while they were there.
I have lived in Adelaide, South Australia all my life and have travelled around most of Australia. I believe that being in ThinkQuest is a great way to use and improve my computer skills. I have been in three of the five musicals that Norwood Primary has put on; I also play the flute and am a passionate tennis player.
ThinkQuest has been a great experience I have learnt about so much and have improved my writing and technical skills. I have enjoyed working with Tina, the other team members and all the other teachers that have helped us so much. I would like to thank Tina Photakis the head coach, Lisa the assistant coach (and my teacher) for giving us time in class. Thinkquest has been a great but tiring experience.
All About Me: Jessica
My name is Jessica but I prefer to be called Jess, because there are two Jesses on our team I get called Jess. L. I am twelve years old I go to Norwood Primary School and am in year 7. I play the piano and I’m in the Australian Youth Choir. I live in Adelaide and live with my mum, my dad, my brother and my golden retriever Lucy. My favourite food is cheese and my favourite cheese is Blue Brie.
My ThinkQuest experience has been a good one. When we heard about it, my friends and I decided to sign up for ThinkQuest last year and we are all on the team. ThinkQuest has been a great experience and I have learnt things about puppets that I never would have known otherwise. It could be stressful at times when things didn’t go quite the way we expected but we always got over it and had lots of fun. We are now in the last few weeks of the competition and putting all the final bits together. When you put everything together most of it has been a lot of fun.
I would like to thank our coaches, Tina and Lisa, for all their hard work and help. It is not easy being a coach! A big thank you also to Mark, for all his help in teaching us about websites.
All About Me: Jess
Hi! I’m Jess; I’m in my seventh and final year at Norwood Primary School. I enjoyed reading singing and above all drama.
ThinkQuest has been long but fun and I have enjoyed it immensely. I have learnt A LOT about puppets during the past couple of months including how they are used in religion, how they are used for educational purposes, trendsetting puppets, famous puppets, shadow puppets, marionettes, glove puppets, paper puppets, finger puppets and many more.
Tina, our coach, has helped us the Aussie Star Team a lot along the way. She has taught us about how to write articles and how to say the Karagiozis names!
I would like to thank Lisa, our assistant coach for putting up with us as we ran in and out of the classroom and of course Tina for helping us so much! I would also like to thank Mark, for working with us.
All About Me: Tina
Hi everyone. My name is Tina Photakis and I teach at a lovely inner city school called Norwood Primary school. I have been teaching for over 25 years and I still get so much enjoyment from my teaching. I am in various roles this year – Greek Language teacher, Drama and choir teacher.
I have also been involved with ThinkQuest since 2004, as a past judge and successful coach of past international teams. I really enjoyed coaching 6 students who were motivated to complete the TQ cycle and to produce a unique website on puppets. They did a fantastic job, along with some guidance and support from me and their class teacher, my co-coach Lisa McLaughlin.
The time constraints that the team was under were immense however, step by step, they worked together to reach the finish line – even though they gave up many lunchtimes, after school times, and even days on the weekend! They learnt to collaborate and respect each others views. They also supported each other and they were immensely proud of themselves when they finished their site.
Kudos to the team, and to Noah our team captain. I am so glad that I had the chance to work with such a dedicated and driven group – thank you Aussie Stars!!
A big thank you goes to my dear friend and technical support person, Mark Herbert. The students that he teaches learn so much from him, and especially the Aussie Stars. Mark took the time out of his extremely bust schedule, to work with our team and the results have been awesome. Thank you so much Mark for believing in us and for supporting our ThinkQuest endeavour, through many ups and downs – we appreciate you!
Finally, I would like to thank my family for supporting me through my current ThinkQuest coaching cycle. They have been wonderful in allowing me to give my undivided time, both face to face and online, to our Aussie Stars team. It has been challenging at times but we finally made it to the finish line - no strings attached!
All About Me: Lisa
My name is Lisa McLaughlin and I am one of the middle school teachers at Norwood Primary School. Norwood Primary School is a small co-educational inner city school which prides itself on its strong community ties. It has been amazing to see how many local experts we have in our community, and how willing they were to give up their time and knowledge to help with our project. I would also like to thank the parents and families of our team who have been so accommodating with their time and patience.
ThinkQuest was introduced to me, and my class last year in 2007. We began our journey by taking part in Think.com where we got a taste of what it was like to be part of a global online community. Toward the end of 2007 we had the foundations for a 2008 ThinkQuest team where I would take part as an assistant coach. At that early stage, I had no idea what being part of a ThinkQuest team would be all about.
ThinkQuest has been a mixture of emotions; exciting, challenging, tiring and of course most of all, rewarding. It has been wonderful to see six dedicated and very talented and persistent individuals; (Noah, Jazz, Jess, Daniel, Claudia and Jessica) come together to think outside the square and challenge themselves along every step of the way. They are now armed and ready to pass their learned skills and talents onto their peers who have been most inquisitive about ThinkQuest. As assistant coach I have helped edit articles and organise the team in meeting deadlines. As their teacher, it is rewarding to notice their writing, confidence, and team skills flourish.
Many thanks to Tina who allowed me to participate in this intensive yet amazing journey, and Mark for his patience, expert computer skills, and dedication to perfecting our project.