Project has ended on 31st December 2021.

SPOTLIGHTERS Erasmus + (2018–2021) project aimed to inform educators and students of the
potential long-terms effects of stress and provides them with the competences to reduce these
potential complications from arising.

Students experience stress but most are not taught how to manage their stress effectively and their
poor self-regulatory behaviours persist into adulthood affecting quality of life and contributions to

Excessive stress combined with poor stress management affects students and teachers at all levels
of education

Project results of Spotlighters provide tools to support student stress management

An Erasmus+ program project (2018-2021) on the science of stress has helped teachers and students better understand stress and acquire stress management techniques.

The Spotlighters project brought together experts in neuroscience, psychology, educational technology, and pedagogy to develop a series of open educational resources (OER) that introduce educators and students to the science of stress. The resources not only teach students about the stress response, stress mindsets, and how lifestyles affect levels of stress, but also include a number of videos that guide students through practicing evidence-based self-regulatory techniques such as Mindfulness. The OER from Spotlighers include:

The Science of Stress & Self-Regulation Online Course which is a self-paced, online course for high school and university students available at The course helps students learn about how stress can be helpful and harmful, how it causes changes in our bodies, and how we can learn to manage it. The international team of instructors in the course guide students through common stress management techniques that can be used by students for the rest of their lives. The course is available in English, Spanish, Catalan, Greek, Portuguese, Finnish, and Danish.

The Spotlighters YouTube Channel features many types of videos created by Spotlighters in each of the project partner languages. There are a series of videos that teach students self-regulatory practices such as progressive muscular relaxation, square breathing, and pursed lip breathing. Teachers are able to play these videos for their students in class. There is also an example of an energizing activity that can be used in class to activate students (Snap, Clap, Jump). Additionally, videos have been created to introduce the online course, ClassMood App, teacher symposiums, and to share reflections from teachers and partners about the project and its efforts. All of the video lessons from the online course are also accessible on the Spotlighters YouTube Channel.

The Spotlighters Toolkit for Student Lessons helps teachers teach the lessons produced by Spotlighters. The aim of the content is to educate students about the science of stress and self-regulation. While the Toolkit was produced with secondary school students in mind, the Spotlighters team has also adapted the materials to primary level and tested its applicability in university settings (Beardsley et al., 2021). Materials such as slides, teacher notes, and activity sheets are available in English, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese, Finnish, and Danish (

The Spotlighters Teacher Training Workshops were created and piloted in the project. The workshops are two 120-minute professional development workshops for educators. The workshop materials are available on the project website and include videos by Minna Huotilainen, professor of educational sciences at University of Helsinki, Cognitive Brain Research Unit, CICERO Learning Network, University; and Eveliina Holmgren, Senior Lecturer at the School of Wellbeing, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

ClassMood App ( is a free social and emotional learning tool for teachers to make teaching and learning more enjoyable (Beardsley et al., 2019). It allows teachers to visualize a map of their student moods and discover mood changing activities for students. The tool helps educators teach students about emotion regulation and provides opportunities to introduce self-regulatory activities such as breathing exercises and cognitive reappraisal. The tool is available in English, Spanish, Catalan, Greek, Portuguese, Finnish, and Danish.

Multimedia materials

Partners of Spotlighters

Spotlighters was coordinated by the Interactive and Distributed Technologies for Education (TIDE) research group of Universitat Pompeu Fabra’s Department of Information Technology and Communications, in collaboration with

  • European partners including neuroscientists from Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • Cicero Learning at the University of Helsinki
  • researchers from the University of Western Macedonia (Greece)
  • researchers from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences of Helsinki (Finland)
  • social enterprises (Denmark), Advancis (Portugal) and Boon (Portugal).

From 2018 to 2021, the Spotlighters team organized learning activities with educators and students throughout Europe. Over a 40-month period, the consortium ran 30 sets of pilot lessons with university, high school, and primary school students. Over 1000 students directly participated in the classroom lessons during the project. Moreover, teacher professional development workshops and symposiums for educators were held in five countries (Finland, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Greece).

See Facebook and project pages.


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