The low-cost intrinsic motivation (IM) course conversion project aims to promote the adoption of education innovations, lowering the costs of these innovations by promoting students' intrinsic motivation to learn and to invest in their own education. We have piloted and scaled the IM course conversion of a large enrollment, sophomore-level engineering course. As part of a broader evaluation, we interviewed 31 students to better understand how the IM course conversion affected students' motivations to learn. During these interviews, students described their experiences in the course as a story from the beginning to the end of the semester. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed with an open coding scheme focused on motivational and affective statements. Preliminary analysis indicates that strategic choices, positive team dynamics, and productive failures in the learning process all contribute to promoting students' intrinsic motivation to learn in both pilot and full scale IM course conversions.