One of Long Island's most effective learning environments is the environment itself.
Many local schools hosted field trips to adjacent bays, lakes and rivers this fall to help students learn first hand about the region's ecosystems and wildlife.
Oyster Bay High School's marine biology students used seine nets to dredge up sea life from the Long Island Sound during a visit to The WaterFront Center, a local nonprofit. The specimens, including eels, minnows and mummichog, are being kept in a tank for the teens to study before they are released back into the water in June.
"It's so great for the students to come and see for themselves the type of marine life that exists here," Oyster Bay marine biology teacher Jill Sanborn said. "They grow up here and they are in the water all the time."
Massapequa High School's AP environmental science students performed a chemical analysis of a stream alongside a bike trail in the Massapequa Preserve. Tasks included testing pH, dissolved oxygen and salinity levels and comparing the stream's health to other local waterways through Brookhaven National Laboratory.
East Rockaway High School students conducted research — ranging from analyzing water quality to sampling plant pecies — in a salt marsh at the Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area under the guidance of conservation biologist Michael Farina.
Students from Bethpage High School and John F. Kennedy Middle School learned about creatures that live in local waters while sailing aboard a historic oyster sloop called the Christeen.
Great Neck South High School seniors Amal Deochand and Ian Myer won first place in this year's Plainview-Old Bethpage Business Challenge, which attracted about 30 teams from schools across Long Island.
The ninth annual competition challenged teams of two or three students to develop creative business presentations based on an assigned topic using only their knowledge of business and two textbooks.
The event was organized and hosted by Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School's Business Honor Society.
Eighty-four students have been named Long Island Young Scholars of Mathematics by the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students at SUNY Old Westbury. Selection means they are in the top one-tenth of 1 percent of math students in their grade islandwide.
Nassau County scholars and their school districts are: Zoe Chinda, Caio DaSilva, Yamileth Garcia and Arsh Singh, Bethpage; Saira Chabria, Viraj Pahuja, Shruti Singh and Grace Wong, East Williston; Saera Georgina Schumacher, Elmont; Ana Bucevic, Garden City; Angela Bai and Alexander Xu, Great Neck; Hana Cheng, Orik Ehren, Jeylin Lee, Pratham Patel, Adithya Patnam, Ranjan Rasquinha and Ellie Wu, Herricks; Ethan Abelev, Mikayla Joseph, Sean Zamidar and Shane Zamidar, Hewlett-Woodmere; Krishang Gupta, Nikki Kamath, Pratiksha Santhosh Malayil, Pariket Raval and Anusha Shah, Hicksville; Vikram Bajaj, Erika Kawakami, Emily Kim, Weijie-Jay Li, Cynthia Qian, Flora Qiu, Janice Rateshwar, Jocelyn Wang and Liran Zhou, Jericho; Ethan Mei, Manhasset; Alexander Baker, Natalie Laszewski and Ishan Lohiya, Mineola; Disha Chakraborty, Shohom Chakraborty and Emily Lee, New Hyde Park-Garden City Park; Isabelle Lee, North Shore; Ellis Chiu, Oceanside; Giovanna Sherlock, Oyster Bay-East Norwich; Frank He, Vincent Huang, Arthur Kaplan, Aarian Mepani, Colin Rosen, William Shih, Samuel Xiao and Wendy Yin, Syosset; and Samuel Na, Valley Stream 30.
Other local selectees were: Peter Mileo, St. Joseph School; Conor Moran, St. Edward the Confessor School; Regan Lutz, Long Island Lutheran High School; Surya Krishnan, Nandika Salhotra and Jonah Schiffer, Long Island School for the Gifted; and Faith Wladyka, Holy Trinity Diocesan High School.