Need help making a capacitive board for a science demo with music

Hiya! Ok, I work with kids, I teach science but in a cool way (my official title is Mad Scientist!!!). I recently found a science 'game' that combines the science of electronics, sound, music, and a little chemistry, and I want to create one to show my students, but unfortunately, I can create a hover craft, but when it comes to electronics, I am WWWAAAYYY out of my league (my hovercraft uses physics and a simple motor). Have you seen Noisy Jelly or something similar? It is BEYOND cool. Basically, it's a board that you sit different jello molds onto, and when you touch the mold, depending on the shape and salt content, you create different pitches. I found a how to on the internet to make a capacitive touch board, powered by an Arduino hardware platform, hooked up to a small battery amp (they said the 'small battery Radio Shack amps work perfect). I have no idea what kind of amp I need, when I google it, I keep getting what I think are car radio amps, I need something very small. I also have no idea how to program, or use Arduino hardware, I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction, or give me some advice, because I am determined to make this, and I would prefer not to start blind. Thank you for any help or advice you can give me!

You can ask the kids to help you programming. A wizkid of 8 years old learns faster than you do XD I think that 11 years is the right age to start programming with Arduino.

Do this step by step. You need a speaker or a piezo beeper and a few resistors. You can use the usb cable to power the Arduino.

The easiest board to start with is the Arduino Uno. Perhaps you can buy two of them, you might blow one during testing. Download the Arduino software, the drivers for Windows are included. Try to upload a sketch to make the led blink. After that you are the right track: Try to make a speaker make sound (use 100 ohm resistor and a speaker). Use the CapSense library for the jelly. And combine it. http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/tone http://playground.arduino.cc/Main/CapacitiveSensor

You don't need an amplifier for the speaker. Someone made a special library to make the sound twice as loud, and with that 100 ohm and speaker it is loud enough. http://playground.arduino.cc/Code/ToneAC But the ToneAC library is something advanced. You can try it after you have it working with the default libraries.

They might be talking about a pocket amplifier for the hard of hearing, called the

Pocket-Size Stereo Amplified Listener
Model: 33-1096 | Catalog #: 33-1096
Price:
$19.97

FYI, you might have better luck if you change your title to something that describes the issue, since I don’t think the issue is that you are out of your league as much as it is you are not familiar with how things work here on the forum.

http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php/topic,148850.0.html