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The Sacred Cenote at Chichén Itzá is a sink hole, or well, containing groundwater. In this activity, learners create their own cenote using chalk, limestone, acids, and rain water. A real cenote is formed very slowly over time by acidic water trickling through tiny cracks in limestone, dissolving a mineral in the limestone called calcite.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 piece of chalk
  • 1 plastic tray
  • 1 dropper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 egg carton
  • 1 piece of limestone rock
  • 5 rocks that look different


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Geochemical Cycles
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Unisys Corporation