Photo Credit: JOHNSON R&D

Lonnie Johnson, the inventor of the Super Soaker has made over $1 billion in sales. He now wants to give back to young kids just like him. His nonprofit, Johnson STEM Activity Center is funding high school robotic teams and also offering them a creative work space in Atlanta.

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The space is Johnson Laboratories in Atlanta. Johnson, who grew up in Mobile, Alabama at the height of the civil rights era, turned his fear into motivation. He would go on to have a career as a NASA rocket scientist, leading to the moment of designing the water pump. “It really felt aiming that stream of water across the bathroom. At that point I decided to put my engineering hat on and design a high performing water pump,” says Johnson.

Now he’s helping fund several high school robotic teams, one of them being former refugees. Kudos to Lonnie Johnson.

What do you think about Lonnie Johnson’s new initiative to give back to young engineers?
Mike “Orie” Mosley is the managing editor for and a cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the founder of In his spare time, he’s probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie