This would be my first Arduino project and all I really need to do is pass current through a couple of wires after a specific time for about 30 seconds (sort of like an alarm clock). Can it be done? How, exactly?
It can be done but we need to know the whole project to advise how.
Use 2 relays to close contact between source of current and whatever it goes into.
For example, here is an Arduino controlling a transistor, turning on the transistor energizes the relay to let current flow thru a motor.
Please explain what you mean by pass a current through two wires.
Are these wires powering something, and what you really want to do is turn on that device? In that case, how much current does the device require, and what voltage does it operate at? This could be trivial, or it could require a few external components.
Okay, I got myself the Arduino Uno, saw some beginning tutorials and my work is done. Sorry for wasting your time, thanks. :)