A new, 21st-century science curriculum framework has been approved for California’s public schools.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced this week that the state Board of Education voted to approve a new Science Framework that will “dramatically upgrade and modernize science instruction.”

“Science education is undergoing a renaissance that began with the adoption of California’s Next Generation Science Standards in 2013 and advances today with a Science Framework that will guide teaching,” said Torlakson.

The Science Framework will provide guidance to teachers, administrators and textbook publishers for Next Generation Science Standards instruction from transitional kindergarten through high school.

According to the California Department of Education, the new framework was developed after an extensive public process that spanned nearly three years and generated more than 3,000 public comments. State education officials said it will expand and refine discussion of climate change and, for the first time, include engineering, environmental literacy and strategies to support girls and young women in science.

Additionally, in the spring of 2017, the state Department of Education and other educational partners will present California Science Framework rollout events to start preparing educators and administrators for Next Generation Science Standards instruction. Then, in 2018, the state Board of Education is scheduled to adopt textbooks and other instructional materials aligned to the standards and framework.

The CDE is also developing a new online science assessment that will reflect the standards. A pilot test will take place in spring 2017 in grades five and eight and, at the high school level, either grade 10, 11 or 12.