The Citadel has landed a $1.2 million scholarship grant from the National Science Foundation for students interesting in teaching high school biology, chemistry and math.

It’s the largest grant of its kind the school ever has received.

Lok Lew Yan Voon, dean of The Citadel’s School of Science and Mathematics, said the military college had previously applied for the grant three times, refining its application each time. “I guess this time it clicked,” he said.

Citadel spokeswoman Jennifer Wallace said, this is the largest federal scholarship grant the college ever has received. “The Citadel is committed to fostering science, technology, engineering and mathematical disciplines, and this grant will help us to do just that.”

Teachers in those subjects, known as STEM disciplines, are needed across the country, Voon said.

The Citadel will use the money to launch the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, which will provide funds to allow the school to recruit and prepare up to 30 new teachers for high-need schools in South Carolina during the next five years, Voon said. The new teachers will work in the Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester 4, Hampton 1 and Colleton school districts, he said. To receive a scholarship, they must agree to work for at least two years in a high-need district.

The college soon will begin recruiting students for the scholarship program, Voon said. It will offer 10 scholarships to undergraduates interested in teaching biology or chemistry, he said. The scholarships will cover tuition, room and board for students’ final two years of a four-year degree.

The school also will recruit 20 professionals with degrees in STEM disciplines for its graduate program, he said. The scholarship will cover the cost of their tuition.

The school especially will look for graduates students who have worked in professional jobs in those fields, and who want to become high school teachers.

All scholarship recipients will receive advising and mentoring by current educators when they start teaching to ensure their success in the classroom, Voon said. “The Robert Noyce Teaching scholarship grant will significantly enhance The Citadel’s ability to produce a talented pool of passionate and highly qualified STEM teachers for the Lowcountry.”

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.