Penda Learning

Total Platform Update for US-based EdTech Startup

Penda Learning is a student gaming platform that creates standards-based science content for grades 3 - 10.
Partnership period
Partnership period
2019 - Present
Lumen (PHP framework), React JS, Aurora MySQL

About Penda Learning

Penda Learning is a gamified learning platform for students. On the platform, students participate in engaging, interactive science lessons based on standards-aligned science instruction in both physical and virtual classrooms.

Key features:

  • Game-based learning – Penda’s 900+ standards-aligned, game-based science activities and PhET interactive simulations make learning fun, thus helping students achieve better results.
  • Smart pacing - Pacing Assistance Service (PAS) customizes activities to each learner’s specific scope and sequence and then auto-assigns them to students to lighten teachers’ workload.
  • Vivid analytics - Automated reports help users monitor their progress, differentiate instruction, and target interventions within an RTI or MTSS framework, even when students are learning from home.


Penda Learning started as a US market branch project of one of Intersog’s other clients: SAM Learning. In 2019, the project was acquired, and the new owners decided to fully update the platform so that it is better suited to local learners and laws. They’ve engaged the Intersog team to do this.


The whole project lifecycle can be divided into 3 stages with different goals and challenges.

Stage 1: SAM+Penda

Our cooperation started when Penda Learning was still a side project of UK’s SAM Learning. Both projects shared some common functionalities and databases. However, the content and some usage rules were different to fit local markets.

After the project was bought in 2019, our team was involved in separating the projects and migrating Penda to US servers.

Services provided:

  • Database analysis, update, and migration to new US servers
  • Both projects, SAM and Penda Learning, got new functionalities
  • Our team updated the project to the latest possible version of PHP
  • Updated web servers
  • We also moved the codebase to GitLab

Technologies applied: jQuery, Backbone, PHP, MySQL

In May 2020, Penda Learning started to operate as a fully separate product.

Stage 2: Penda Learning V.1

The owners strived to fully remake and reorganize the platform. However, the old version required support and updates during the preparation period.

Our team’s main task was to refine and stabilize the platform to make sure that existing users continued to experience a smooth operation.

Services provided:

  • QA analysis and bug fixes
  • Integration of new features to make product marketable
  • Support and regular updates

Stage 3: Penda Learning V.2

In spring 2021, our team started to develop the new version of the Penda Learning platform. Since the new version was developed from scratch, we got the chance to organize the processes and agree on architecture and standards from the beginning. This will help us flawlessly scale both our team and the platform in the future.

We’ve decided to follow Component-based development (CBD) guidelines. This will help us create reusable blocks and patterns to support future development.

We’ve also defined code style standards so that new teammates can easily explore and join the project.

As of today, our team is hammering away at the new UI/UX design and the platform’s backend.

Today’s team consists of a PM, 4 PHP (Lumen) developers, DevOps, a React developer, and a designer.

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