HUNTSVILLE, Ala (WHNT) — Teachers across Alabama gathered in the Rocket City Friday to learn more about STEM education.

The unique event provided hands-on learning for educators with a focus on teaching science, technology engineering, and math, or STEM, along with computer science in the classroom.

STEM education focuses on developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills in students from a learner-centered environment. The workshop gave educators that teach pre-k to 12 grade a chance to get hands-on with the technology they’re using in classrooms right now.

“It starts at the most basic level green means go yellow means slow down red means stop and so we use that with our kids to talk about syllables,” Madison City Reading Specialist Claire Stewart said. “So in kindergarten, we learn about open syllables because Indi goes from green to yellow and then keeps going a word like go, hi, they continue on.”

Amanda Adams, a STEM Engagement Coordinator for NASA, said what’s happening in STEM right now is also happening at NASA

“One of the activities they’re working on today simulates how we are working on technologies for in-space servicing of satellites,” she said. “They will take the rover downstairs code it to go up to a refueling station and have to refuel just as we are working on different technologies without OSAM-1 which is space servicing to be able to refuel satellites and work on satellites in space.”

Sphero was the leader in educating teachers Friday. The company says while schools have STEM materials at school, education for teachers is lacking.

“The biggest obstacle we see is a lot of times a school district or a school will have the technology but it will sit on a shelf collecting dust because the classroom facilitators or teacher is not confident in using it with their students,” Spero Senior Education Partnership Manager Layne Rainey said, “and so these events are important because it gets those pieces of technology that districts have invested in off the shelf and into the classroom where students are being engaged.”