One problem could be that your magnets are not strong enough. If possible,
see if you can get some that are a little stronger.
I assume you are using D-cell batteries. If by some chance you are using C or
AA batteries, try D's. If you're using two batteries, connect them in series,
one following the other. Be sure that you haven't got the batteries
"cancelling" each other (the wire connecting the two batteries should go from
the positive end (the end with the little knob) of one battery to the
negative end (the flat end) of the other. Be sure that you have removed the
insulation from the ends of the wires if necessary (sometimes the insulation
is a plastic coating that is easy to see, but sometimes it's a lacquer that
looks almost like the copper wire itself).
Finally, be sure you have enough wire in the loop so that the loop is fairly
free to move, and be sure the wire is not so heavy and stiff that it can't
move (but it sounds like you've already thought of this).
Hope this helps. Good luck!
Exploratorium Teacher Institute
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