( Fannie Mae and Help the Homeless)

Does this day off from school leave you bored? Wondering how to be creative? Wanting to discover ways to win cool prizes?

Yeah, we thought we’d get your interest with that last one! Here are two contests that are aimed at kids who are creative, bright and inventive. In other words, you. They both have March deadlines, but today is a great day to get started!

Help the Homeless Art Contest

What you need to do: Create an 81 / 2-by-11-inch piece of art that sends a positive message about the importance of a home.

Who can enter: Kids in kindergarten through eighth grade

( Fannie Mae/ )

Who sponsors the contest: Help the Homeless Program, which helps increase people’s awareness about homelessness.

What you can win: A $500 savings bond. The winning artwork will be featured on T-shirts, the Help the Homeless Web site and in other ways to promote the message of ending homelessness. Last year’s winner, Vivian Ishbel Pittard, then a first-grader at Watkins Elementary in Washington, had her design printed on more than 130,000 T-shirts!

How to enter: Send your artwork with your full name, age, grade, e-mail address and phone number to:

Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Program

Attn: Art Contest

P.O. Box 5930

Washington, D.C. 20016

Deadline: All entries must be postmarked by Friday, March 2 at 5 p.m.

For more information: www.helpthehomelessdc.org

National STEM Video Game Challenge

What you need to do: Create a video game for children ages 4 to 8 that focuses on teaching math skills.

Who can enter: The contest’s middle school division is open to fifth- through eighth-graders.

Who sponsors the contest: PBS Kids and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

What you can win: Laptops and game-design software.

How to enter: You need to submit either a YouTube video of the game being played or you can supply a URL where the judges can play your game themselves.

How to enter: You can enter as an individual or a team of up to four kids, but you need to register at www.stemchallenge.org. Always ask an adult before giving out any personal information online.

Deadline: Monday, March 12

For more information: www.stemchallenge.org or www.pbskids.org/stemchallenge