On the first public day of Out of the Garage which also happened to be a Sunday, I attended an Open Solar workshop by http://opensolarcircuits.cc/ as part of #01SJ. Here is a link, there are like 8 more days of it http://01sj.org/2010/artworks/opensolarcircuits/.
Cut and sanded the boards (thank you TechShop), scrubbed them. Printed the traces and mixed the acid. Laminated the traces and dissolved the paper before dropping the boards into an acid bath. The “white paper??” actually preserves the traces better than without, but is optional. Drilled holes after the acid bath and we have PCBs.
Using open source designs or worked out designs, I can see this being a really easy way in to electronics. Of course if the hardware is common it will likely be cheaper to just buy the boards (or the finished product : ) but that defeats the porpoise.
The materials used for this have ecology and kitchen science in mind as well and can be bought locally, well except maybe for the board materials.
As far as empowering students and teaching electronics, I think this is pretty astonishing. I never thought I could make my own PCB and here I did it in a few hours.
Open Source, Spanish language, DIY, physical electronics, with green materials run by women. YIKES this is unstoppable.
I am asked for a complete list of materials, I think this can be integrated into the curriculum along the lines of basic physical computing. I shall post it as soon as I get it.