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Open Polymer Active Learning Laboratory


COVID-19 Response:

OPALL is requiring users in the space to wear a face covering as part of the PPE.

Click here for more information about safety procedures.


OPALL is unlike GT’s other Design Collaboratives (The MILL, Invention Studio, The HIVE, etc.) in that it welcomes the use of chemicals. This requires special effort. In addition to immediate dangers, which are shared by all Design Collaboratives, failures in chemical safety can harm users later in life. Mindful of this reality, OPALL follows these principles. 

  • The goal is safe operations. The safest thing would be to do nothing at all, just hide in lectures; instead, we are committed to a student-led facility that functions. 
  • Fear is a safety violation. OPALL teaches users to work confidently. 
  • Confidence is born of a mixture of successes and failures; we attempt to keep the failures small.
  • Safety requires margins; even if a user errs, there will be a margin of safety that lets them live and learn.
  • Safety is fractal: viewed at any scale, OPALL safe operations will look the same.
  • Safety requires space management: each OPALL space has a safety level. 
  • Unescorted users must begin in Safe Lab.
  • Next comes Prep Lab, Little Room and Optics Lab.
  • Danger Lab (Synth Lab) is reserved for our most experienced users on a need-to-use basis. 
  • No user is above the safety managers; they can shut down anyone, even faculty. 
  • We pay for safety: safety managers are our best-paid and most responsible people. 
  • Samples must be labeled: name/lab notebook/sample code/additional information. Unlabeled samples will be quarantined; violators will lose their privileges.

Organization | symbols used

At OPALL, we make use of icons and symbols to help users locate things quickly. Everything has a place and there is place for everything.

Environmental Health & Safety

  • EHSA provides guidelines for maintaining lab safety and protocols
  • To work in any OPALL lab space, Lab Safety 101 and Right to Know courses must be completed
  • For emergencies contact EHSA and GTPD
    • EHSA: 404-216-5237
    • GTPD: 404-894-2500