MARQUETTE — Nearly 100 juniors and seniors from around the U.P. gathered at Northern Michigan University Friday morning to learn about the side of college they may not have heard about.

These students were learning about the educational opportunities they could experience in regards to research and lab work through the Quality Undergraduate Experiences in Scholarly Training (QUEST) program.

The program is hosted by NMU faculty hoping to inspire students to be fearless in the face of exploring great things.

“I think it’s really important that high school realize that when they get to college, there are opportunities to do research, to be able to answer questions no one has ever been able to answer before and you can start that right out of high school,” said Robert Winn, the Assistant Provost for Graduate Education and Research at NMU.

A slew of departments were in attendance to showcase projects from within their area of expertise, giving students a better chance to hear something that catches their attention.

“Even when you’re 18, I think it’s really impossible to really know what you want to be and so if you start looking at a younger age, you can look at different universities, different campuses, different programs and get a feel for what fits you best,” said Erica Goff, the Director for the Grants and Contracts Office at NMU. “Then you’re kind of a step ahead by the time you start your freshman year. You know where you’re going to be happy and you know what you want to study and a better idea of what you want to do and what you want to become.”

While this is the first time QUEST has been held, coordinators hope this won’t be the last.