To connect the Arduino to the plates we need some shielded wire. If the wire isn't shielded, the wires themselves act more obviously as part of the capacitor. Also, I've found that alligator clips make it really easy to connect things to aluminum -- but there are probably plenty of other ways, too.
- Cut three equal lengths of shielded cable. I chose about 12". The shorter the better. Coaxial cable works, but the lighter/more flexible the better.
- Strip the last half inch or so to reveal the shielding, and the last quarter inch to reveal the wire.
- Twist the alligator clips to the wires onto the wires and solder them together.
- Add some heat shrink tubing or hot glue to keep things together.