A new school year is always full of surprises. One of them is seeing how much taller certain classmates have gotten over the summer. What is the science behind growth spurts?
Adolescence isn't the first time that humans grow by leaps and bounds. Babies' bodies change and grow dramatically. Children usually grow at a gradual, steady pace until puberty, when growth occurs in an intense "spurt."
The adolescent growth spurt typically begins in girls around the ages of 10 or 11 and peaks by age 12. Girls typically stop growing by the ages of 15 or 16. In boys, the growth spurt begins at 12 or 13, reaches a peak by age 14, and is typically over by the age of 19. Of course, adolescents don't all develop at exactly the same time. Some develop earlier than their peers, and others mature a bit later.
Within the adolescent "growth spurt," teens and pre-teens experience "mini-spurts" of intense growth. They may experience growing pains; after all, their skeletons are being formed.
During a one-year period of intense growth, boys can gain about 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) and girls about 3.5 inches (8.89 centimeters) in height.
The surest sign that you are experiencing a growth spurt is when you suddenly notice you've outgrown your shoes and clothes...again.
Calculate how much you and two other classmates might grow in a year by filling in the chart below.