Super Soaker inventor to Williamson High students: "Don't give u - FOX10 News | WALA

Super Soaker inventor to Williamson High students: "Don't give up"

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Lonnie Johnson, who is best known for his invention the "Super Soaker" water gun, returned to Mobile this week to speak with students at his alma mater.  Photo: Williamson High School Lonnie Johnson, who is best known for his invention the "Super Soaker" water gun, returned to Mobile this week to speak with students at his alma mater.  Photo: Williamson High School
MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

Lonnie Johnson, who is best known for his invention the "Super Soaker" water gun, returned to Mobile this week to speak with students at his alma mater. 

A graduate of Williamson High School and Tuskegee University, on Friday, May 12, Johnson discussed how he got started in engineering as well as some of the NASA projects he's worked on.

According to Johnson, as a boy, he was inspired by John F. Kennedy's challenge that America would put a man on the moon. He also told the group a story about mixing chemicals that make up rocket fuel. 

Johnson said he'd tried the experiment at home on the kitchen stove, however, when he tried it at school, the police showed up and accused him of trying to blow up the school.

After sending the mixture off to a lab for testing, Johnson said the lab confirmed that it was rocket fuel.c

"I was like, 'Wow!' They analyzed it!, he said. "I was like, 'I told you it was rocket fuel.' They said 'Yeah, you're right. Looks like we're going to have to change from trying to blow up the school to arson."

Johnson said thankfully he wasn't charged but the experience did teach him another lesson.

"It really is about perseverance. It really is about, when you run into a problem, find a way around it," he said. "Don't give up." 

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