Downstate 4th grader learns about Marquette

The internet has become the backbone for research projects big and small.  Whether it’s a book report on Huck Finn or a dissertation on Roman architecture, the web acts as a primary resource.

But one elementary school student is logging off the beaten path and taking on her task firsthand.  ABC 10’s Rick Tarsitano has the story.


The fourth grade class at St. John Elementary in Fenton, Michigan is embarking on a project that spans the entire state.

Students are charged with composing a 5 to 10 minute report on a Michigan city drawn at random.

Danielle Solensky’s fate landed her, far from home, in Marquette.

Danielle Solensky takes in the sights of Marquette

400 miles and 30 degrees later, Danielle found a different side of April.

“I thought it was way too much snow…especially in Spring,” laughed Danielle.

The cold conditions didn’t stop Danielle and her family from experiencing the U.P. to the fullest.

And much to their surprise, that included an awful lot.

“When we were driving up here there wasn’t much, so I didn’t know if there was a town or not. I kind of got a little worried,” Danielle chuckled.

A trek through Presque Isle, down to the Lower Harbor helped bring Marquette’s storied beauty in focus.

“The scenery is absolutely outstanding,” admired Jerry Solensky, Danielle’s father.

“I’m totally impressed, and it was unexpected. I thought that it was going to be a very small, low key, quiet kind of town, but it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s so picturesque, I’m loving it. It’s lovely here,” admitted Melissa Solensky, Danielle’s mother.

It wasn’t just the elements that caught the Solenskys’ eye during their fact-finding mission.

Whether they were brushing up on the history of the area or being treated to a tour of the Superior Dome, complete with free NMU Wildcat gear, one thing stood out, the people.

“The people are overwhelmingly nice, and very, very pleasant to be around,” remarked Jerry.

“The people have been wonderful. The food has been wonderful, it’s a great place,” Melissa echoed.

What started out as a school project, documenting a precious piece of the Michigan puzzle, ended up being an experience they could all get used to.

“I’m very impressed. I’ve been delightfully surprised in regard to not only the people, but to really get an overall experience of what the U.P. is like. I’m going to go back down south and recommend to more of my friends that they should visit up here. I’m even looking to find a second residence up in the U.P. in the near future,” Jerry said smiling.

Either way, Danielle will have plenty to talk about when she reports back to school.