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Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment

Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein is a juvenile fiction series about kid geniuses, perfect for 4-6th graders.

Twelve-year-old orphan Max Einstein knows nothing about her past or where she came from. Oh, and she’s a genius. She hacked into the records to attend NYU, she’s independent and looks out for her fellow homeless acquaintances. She is all alone until one day, Max is recruited by CMI, a mysterious good-doer organization called the Change Maker Institute.

CMI’s mission is to change the world for the better and with the help of other kid geniuses, Max may get the chance to do just that. But a shadowy corporation known as the Corp. is also out to “recruit” Max, by force if necessary.

Can Max and her friends stay safe from the Corp and change the world at the same time?

Discussion Questions / Further Reading

  1. What is this book about? What are the main themes?

  2. Max is Albert Einstein’s biggest fan. Her favorite quote is: Imagination is more important than knowledge. What do you think this quote means?

  3. Why do you think Max was chosen as the first finisher?

  4. What characteristics are necessary to be a leader? Which characteristics does Max possess?

  5. One of the groups goals in this book is to provide renewable energy to the village. Let’s talk about solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy.

  6. Max’s job is to go out into the world and fix problems. What is a crisis you know about in the world that you would like to fix? Why is this important to you?

  7. How could you create the best problem-solving team? What characteristics do you need from your teammates?

  8. Who was your favorite team member and why? What characteristics would you bring to the team if you were asked to be on it?

  9. What did you think of the benefactor being a kid and his reasons for running CMI?

  10. There’s been a lot of lead up about Max’s past. Do you have any predictions? Where did she come from? What was her relationship with Dr. Zimm?

DNA Experiment


Supplies: Twizzlers, soft candy that comes in four colors (ie gumdrops), toothpicks, cups to separate candy


  1. Our DNA cannot be seen with our eyes only high powered microscopes.

  2. Assign each color candy to represent a different nucleotide: Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, Guanine.

  3. Take two Twizzlers to represent the backbone consisting of sugars and phosphates. These are what will give our DNA strand that double helix shape.

  4. Use the toothpicks to add two candies per toothpick. Adenine and Thymine are always paired together. Cytosine and Guanine are always paired together.

  5. Use the end of each toothpick to connect to the Twizzler.

  6. Hold it up and slightly twist to get that double helix shape.


DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. Our bodies are made up of lots cells and each one has a job to do. And DNA tells the cell what to do. The DNA gives out codes in a string of four letters and when they are put together in a specific way, they communicate the task to the cell. Our DNA is basically a map of how out body operates.

Each string of DNA carries instructions called genes. Genes tell the cell how to make a specific protein and these proteins are used by the cell to perform certain functions, to grow, and to survive. Genes are what get passed down to offspring. They might tell us what color hair or eyes we will have.


How’d it go:

Sugar overload! I’m not sure the kids needed more sugar today but they sure were happy to get some! Several of the kids said that this was their favorite book so far but they also didn’t have much to say during the discussion this time. Maybe they were just too excited for candy!

That’s all for now!


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