Many local students are swapping their books for boots to learn about Long Island’s ecosystems: The great outdoors is their classroom, in settings such as streams, salt marshes and woodlands.

In Northport and Smithtown, high school students studied samples they collected along the Nissequogue River to see how water quality and species diversity have changed from previous years as part of Brookhaven National Laboratory’s “A Day in the Life” program. Northport students also uncovered the existence of mosquitofish in a pond at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve.

“We are raising the future generation, and it is important for them to develop a sense of connection to the environment in which they live,” Northport science teacher Jim Kubik said.

Students from Bretton Woods Elementary School in Hauppauge and R.C. Murphy Junior High School in Stony Brook examined marine life they caught during charter boat trips in the Great South Bay and Port Jefferson Harbor, respectively. Bretton Woods pupils also learned how to make seining nets and use them to collect plankton.

In Babylon, students from the Junior-Senior High School placed 200 juvenile oysters in cages to test if they could grow in water at Gilgo Beach Marina and Carll’s River as part of an inaugural program hosted by Great Atlantic Shellfish Farm in East Islip.

“We’re excited to monitor the data throughout the year so we can expand and continue the program for next year,” Babylon science director Kristen Dixon said.

In Shoreham, second-graders at Miller Avenue Elementary School tested oxygen and bacteria levels in Wading River Pond to determine if it is “viable and healthy,” school officials said.

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RIVERHEAD

Buddy bench

Roanoke Elementary School students seeking friends during recess have a helpful new tool in the form of a “buddy bench” donated by Brownie Troop 595, which used money from cookie sales to fund the purchase. The bench, made by Michigan-based Polly Products, is designed to be used by students looking for someone to play with.

“If someone is sad or lonely or would just like someone to play with, they would sit on the buddy bench and another student will come sit with them and then invite them to play with them,” Roanoke second-grader Summer Realander said.

The district’s Phillips Avenue Elementary School also received a buddy bench last year from Riverhead Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society.

COUNTYWIDE

Young Scholars of Mathematics

Eighty-five students have been named Long Island Young Scholars of Mathematics for the 2016-17 school year by the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students at SUNY Old Westbury. Selection means a pupil is in the top one-tenth of 1 percent of math students in their grade Islandwide.

Students chosen from Suffolk County districts are: David Yang, Commack; Amanda Perrone, Connetquot; Andrew Mullan and Rithika Narayan, Elwood; Kevin Hoxha, Seth Kampta, Marlee Krasin, Jade Long, Poojan Pandya, Suraj Sharma, Alice Wang and Leo Wild, all of Half Hollow Hills; Devin Capece, Ryan Capece, Linette Kunin, Keertana Madhira and Jalaj Mehta, all of Hauppauge; Jack DelPonte, Huntington; Andrew McBride, Kings Park; Jamel Turner, Longwood; Danielle Levanti, Zoe Meadows and Austin Schuvart, all of Northport-East Northport; Teppei Fukuto and William Wu, Port Jefferson; Nicholas Mulieri and Sahana Ramrakhiani, Sachem; Shiqi Cheng, Shoreham-Wading River; David Rubin, Smithtown; Keene Lu, Leo Takemaru, Isabella Wu, Jacqueline Wu, Nancy Zhong and Julia Zhu, all of Three Village. Liam May of Long Island School for the Gifted in Huntington Station also was selected.