Building a computer from scratch: open source computer science course
Here's an absolutely inspiring TED Talk showing how "self-organized computer science courses" designed around students building their own PCs from scratch engaged students and taught them how computers work at a fundamental level.
Shimon Schocken and Noam Nisan developed a curriculum for their students to build a computer, piece by piece. When they put the course online -- giving away the tools, simulators, chip specifications and other building blocks -- they were surprised that thousands jumped at the opportunity to learn, working independently as well as organizing their own classes in the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). A call to forget about grades and tap into the self-motivation to learn.