KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Breaking barriers in the field of science – that’s what Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientist Clarice Phelps is doing in the field of research. Phelps holds the distinction of being the first Black woman to help discover an element.

Element No. 117, officially named “Tennessine” is what Phelps helped to discover. Beyond her many accomplishments, she shares her love of science in the hopes that it will inspire more Black girls to enter the field.

Black women only make up 2% of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM careers.