The groups that use the long trough method tend to run into "real estate" issues - as in, their track won't fit on their poster board. I do allow them to have some parts hanging off, but I have to be able to pick them up and move them.
T. and his partner figured out how to break the craft sticks in half and then glue them together in a traditional loop. By "break them in half" I mean use scissors to cut the sort of thick wood in half which then leads to broken scissors. All of my scissors in quarantine so they don't get destroyed, but I may have to bring in a little hand saw and cut for them. I was pretty impressed they figured that out right away. They are still a little worried about testing it and having it work.
Overall I'm fairly impressed.
**Updated ---- Yay- the art teacher told me to score the craft sticks several times with an exacto knife and then have the kids snap them. Works well, but I'M definitely doing the scoring.