How do we convey the importance of research skills outside of academic contexts? How do we position students as lifelong learners? How can we show transferability of research skills from academic to real world problems? Preparing students to find credible, reliable information even after their subscription access has ended is often an indirect goal for instruction librarians but is rarely the focus of a standalone research workshop. This case study highlights how Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design and Problem-Based Learning can be used to scaffold research skills for life beyond college. These frameworks are effective for engaging nontraditional students and can be adapted to even one-shot classes to build students’ research skills through simulations of real-life research scenarios.