New Wyoming Science Standards Finalized

Wyoming DOE 11-18, 2016

Governor Matt Mead has signed and approved the new Wyoming Science Content and Performance Standards, marking the first update to the science standards since 2003.

“I made a commitment to the voters of Wyoming to include all voices in the standards review, development, and adoption process, and this week marks the conclusion of a nearly two year effort to deliver on that pledge.” said State Superintendent Jillian Balow. “Today, thanks to an inclusive process and a notable effort by Wyoming Department of Education staff and the standards review committee, we have world class standards that prepare our students for the next steps in life, teach them about science topics in Wyoming’s back yard, and foster a love for science.”

A review committee convened in the Spring of 2015, and recommended a draft set of standards which were approved by the State Board of Education (SBE) on September 23, 2016. During the review process WDE staff conducted numerous town halls around the state, facilitated standards review committee meetings, presented at SBE meetings, and participated in specific input sessions with key stakeholders such as parents, the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, and Wyoming Ag in the Classroom. This new Wyoming process has received national recognition as a best practice for state standards review.

Superintendent Balow added: “It was only by taking the measured and collaborative approach to this process that we were truly able to arrive at uniquely Wyoming and nationally rigorous standards.”

Several features of the new science standards are unique. A bucking horse symbol denotes standards where Wyoming examples are given or can be considered to help support the teaching of Wyoming-specific science. Also, the standards include “cross-cutting” where science concepts are connected to the application of other science topics, engineering, technology, or mathematics.

“We are grateful to our dedicated team of Wyoming educators, parents, and business leaders for their hard work in developing these new science standards, and Laurie Hernandez and her team at the Department of Education for helping to make them a reality,” said Pete Gosar, chairman of the SBE. “Wyoming’s State Board of Education is committed to ensuring Wyoming kids have access to the best education available. These new science standards will better prepare them for college, career and entrepreneurship in Wyoming and beyond.”

School districts will have until the start of the 2020-21 school year to fully implement the new standards in their curriculum, instruction, and assessment system.

Other videos, created by the Science Standards Review Committee, will soon be available, including Resources, Instructional Shifts, Integrated Approach for MS, and Bundles for grades K-5.

For more details on Wyoming’s Science Content and Performance Standards standards and the review process, go to