March 5

Room 22: The Life of Lonnie Johnson

The Life of Lonnie Johnson

Written by: Room 22


Do you know the name Lonnie Johnson?  If not, then you should!  Who is Lonnie Johnson?  Lonnie Johnson is a black inventor.  He is most famous for creating the Super Soaker and the NERF gun.


Lonnie Johnson is from Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A.  His family includes six siblings who all lived together in a small house.  As a child, Lonnie adored creating and building different things.  For example, he started by building toy rockets that could actually fly.  Then he created a robot named Linex that could turn and move.  Lonnie’s family was extremely supportive of his passion.


When Lonnie grew up he became an engineer.  He worked at NASA to help build backup power for Galileo which travelled to Jupiter.


Lonnie created a super cool toy in 1982 called the Super Soaker.  He created it by accident!  Lonnie was using water and air pressure to create a cooling system.  When he tested it he thought it would make an incredible water gun!  Over the years he invented many types of Super Soakers.  Lonnie also invented the NERF gun.  Lonnie quit his job at NASA to become a full time inventor. He is currently working to create power that does not harm the earth.

Did You Know?

  • The Super Soaker was originally called the Drencher.
  • It took 7 years before a toy company agreed to make the Super Soaker.
  • The Super Soaker was a huge hit! It was the #1 selling toy in the entire world!

Lonnie did not give up.  He kept trying and trying to accomplish his goals.  Lonnie worked hard, believed in himself and was able to make his dreams come true!

Posted March 5, 2021 by tpenner in category Uncategorized

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