The Wyoming State Board of Education has approved new K-12 science standards, the first new standards in 13 years.

"We are very pleased to be moving forward with new science standards built by an engaged and diverse group of educators, administrators, business people and parents throughout Wyoming,” said Chairman Pete Gosar.

Modeled after the Next Generation Science Standards, the new science standards are customized for Wyoming students. They address traditional science concepts while adding new features including engineering and technological applications, as well as cross-cutting concepts or themes in science, such as energy sources and transformations.

"Our educators must go beyond textbooks to support and teach these new standards," said Superintendent Jillian Balow. "We hope they will work together to create a curriculum that addresses the standards, while cross-cutting STEM and other subjects into their lessons."

The standards now go to Governor Matt Mead for his signature. If signed, school districts will have until the 2020-21 school year to develop and implement the new standards.

"We're almost to the finish line, and when we get there we'll have some of the best science standards in the nation," said Balow. "We'll have Wyoming science standards for Wyoming kids that ensure that all of our students will be knowledgeable about science, knowledgeable about the scientific process and inquiry, and ready for the next steps in life."