Lauren Burkiss is a 4th grader who comes to Pawnee City Hall for a school field trip. While there, she's supposed to interview Ron Swanson for a school project that's due the next day. In later seasons Ron adopts her.
At first, Ron is uninterested in helping Lauren with her project, but is excited to teach Lauren when he learns she's supposed to be writing about "why government matters". Ron teaches various things, including teaching her about taxes by eating part of her lunch. At the end of the interview, when Lauren is leaving with her class, he gives her a Claymore Landmine from his office. Later, Lauren's mom comes angrily into Ron's office because Lauren's report on why government matters simply says "It doesn't". She says that, "Fourth graders aren't supposed to have their heads filled with weird ideas. They're supposed to do cute reports and get gold stars." She was also upset over the fact that Ron ate Lauren's lunch and gave her a landmine. At the end of the episode, Ron tells Lauren to keep an open mind and listen to her teachers until she's 18, when she can drink, gamble, and become a libertarian.