Felton Laboratory School Student Receives Outstanding Awards at the SC Earth and Science Conference

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Joshua QuarlesJoshua Quarles, a fifth grade student at Felton Laboratory School, located on the campus of SC State University, recently participated in the South Carolina Earth and Science Conference in Columbia, S.C.  Joshua competed with more than 50,000 fifth grade students in the state of South Carolina, where he placed second overall in the conference.

Sandra Bickerstaff, lecturer at Felton Laboratory School, assisted with the selection process, choosing Joshua as one of the five representatives for Felton Laboratory School. In order to participate in the conference, students must have placed first, second or third at a science fair in their respective schools. Joshua placed second in the third grade, received honorable mentions in the fourth grade and placed first in the fifth grade while matriculating through Felton Laboratory School.  Joshua shined bright during this year’s conference, receiving second place for the Earth and Science Award in the junior division.

During the conference, Joshua also received the Outstanding Achievement Development Award and an award for the best fifth grade project this year, entitled “Trash to Fertilizer” in which he took household items you would normally discard such as egg shells, tea bags, potato skins, apple peels, orange peels and leaves, mixed it with backyard soil and diverted it to fertilizer to grow spinach. Joshua also won the Accelerated Reading Award, the Ricoh Sustainability Award and the Columbia Gem and Mineral Society Award, where he won a $25 check and received a plaque. “This was my very first time participating in the conference and it was an awesome experience,” said an excited Joshua. 

Joshua’s success stems from his love for science and reading; in fact, reading is his favorite hobby.  Reading, writing, conducting science experiments and having the opportunity to play around with new technology are some of the education principles that are practiced in the Quarles’ home.  “We spend a lot of time on making sure resources are available. Our children have access to all kinds of books, educational computer software, and they visit the library every week,” noted Robert Quarles, Joshua’s father. Joshua enjoys reading magical and mystery stories such as “Percy Jackson,”  “Harry Potter,”  “39 Clues” and many other books. 

Succeeding and striving to do your very best while having fun have always been the principles taught in the Quarles’ home. Dr. Audrey McCrary-Quarles, Joshua’s mom and an assistant professor in the Health Sciences Department at SC State, always encourages her children to never give up, and if you fail, then it is okay. “The Q in your last name does not stand for quit. You have to keep going in life and always strive for more. If you fail, try again,” stated Audrey.

Audrey’s mom and dad have also instilled in him that treating others with respect will always get you far in life.  “We live by three key principles- prayer, treating others how you would like to be treated and staying humble,” says Robert.  “Always look around for opportunities to help others.”

Joshua obviously lives by these principles. He has been on the Principal’s List since entering Felton Laboratory School and assists students at Felton Laboratory School, serving as a science and math tutor. 

Cassandra Green, teacher assistant at Felton Laboratory School, believes that Joshua will inspire others through academics. “I have been very impressed with Joshua since he began Felton Laboratory School,” says an excited Green.  “He is a phenomenal student. It is important that students continue to move forward and dream,” says Green. 

Joshua has aspirations of becoming an archaeologist. He abides by the motto, “always move forward; failure is not an option.” Joshua is the youngest of four children. He has three sisters, Courtney, Nicole and Jasmine.